The Hudson Valley is rich in history. From historic sites to museums, you will find it anywhere you go. If you’re a history buff planning a trip to the Hudson Valley, the FDR Presidential Library is one of the places you need to see. Of course, this is just one of the many fantastic sites in the area. Download our free Vacation Guide to learn about other excellent places of interest, like museums and galleries.
What is a Presidential Library?
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the organization that manages the Presidential Library System. According to NARA, presidential libraries bring together and preserve the documents and artifacts of a president and present them to the public. Accordingly, presidential libraries aren’t libraries in the traditional sense, but more like archives and museums.
Franklin Roosevelt created the impetus for the system when he donated his personal and presidential papers to the government in 1939. These were given with the intent of creating a library out of these documents. It wasn’t until 1955 that the notion of establishing a system of federally maintained libraries surfaced with the Presidential Libraries Act. Today, there are fourteen presidential libraries.
The FDR Presidential Library
Considering that the entire presidential library system originated with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and the documents preserved here, this library should be at the top of any history enthusiast’s list of places to visit.
The hours of the FDR Presidential Library are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. November through March and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. April through October.
The FDR Library
If you would like to study archival materials while you are here, you can make a more academic research visit. This is where you can see and handle documents and artifacts for yourself. Keep in mind that you will have to follow the policies and procedures associated with handling the materials. Documents from the White House years from both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt are preserved within the library.
The FDR Museum
The focus of the FDR museum is to collect and preserve artifacts related to Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and life in America during the 1930s and 1940s. Permanent exhibits tell the story of the tumultuous Roosevelt presidency, from the Great Depression to the New Deal to WWII. You’ll find several interactive exhibits here that give unique insight into the Roosevelt era.
One example is the Fireside Chat Environments, which invite you to sit in period furniture while listening to readings of actual letters from Americans to FDR. This provides an opportunity to discover how people at the time felt about the presidency.
Another example of the exciting interactive exhibits is the Map Room. Inside, you will discover a recreation of FDR’s secret White House Map Room complete with animations, timelines, maps, and interactive tables.
In addition to permanent exhibits, there are also periodic special exhibitions, most recently “The Art of War,” which displays American poster art during the war. The posters are drawn from the library’s collection of wartime posters, which is one of the largest in the nation. There’s also a museum store where you can purchase unique FDR-themed souvenirs, so be sure to stop in before you leave!
The Historic Site: Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt
The home of FDR is now a national historic site managed by the National Park Service. The site preserves the Springwood estate, which was the birthplace, lifelong home, and burial site of FDR. The only way to visit this home is through a guided tour. For more information on tours offered at the home of FDR, see the hours of operation.
Relax at Saint Hubert’s Lodge & Club
Our beautiful lodge is a short drive away from the FDR Presidential Library. At Saint Hubert’s Lodge, you’ll find a serene retreat nestled in pastoral beauty. Our location is close to top attractions in the Hudson Valley, yet still offers a feeling of privacy and solitude. You’ll feel yourself begin to unwind as you drive in, as gorgeous trees line either side and stretch above the path. Each of our suites has their own personality, but all are luxurious and comfortable. Enjoy spacious bathrooms stocked with Kiss My Face products, waffle cotton robes, cozy fireplaces, and more when you stay here.
Our Rose Suite in the Rose Cottage is especially elegant. Touches of Victorian decor blend with modern amenities for a balanced mix of class and comfort. You can relax in the clawfoot tub or sip a glass of wine on the porch of the Rose Cottage. The Rose Suite is just one of our cozy accommodations, so be sure to browse all our offerings before you book your stay in the Hudson Valley!