Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
|Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site|
|Location||Haviland, Hyde Park, Dutchess County, New York, USA|
|Area||181 acres (0.73 km2)|
|Established||May 27, 1977|
|Visitors||52,690 (in 2005)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Val-Kill) consists of 180 acres (0.73 km2) approximately two miles east of Springwood, the Hyde Park Roosevelt family home. The only residence Eleanor Roosevelt personally owned, it was the site of Val-Kill Industries and would be Eleanor's home after Franklin's death. Converted into rental units and later sold to developers after Eleanor's death in 1962, it was saved through a public campaign and declared a Historic Site in 1977. It is now managed by the National Park Service, with partnerships with two private non-profit organizations who assist with fundraising, development and restoration projects.
FDR encouraged Eleanor Roosevelt to develop this property as a place that she could develop some of her ideas for work with winter jobs for rural workers and women. She named the spot Val-Kill, loosely translated as waterfall-stream from the Dutch language common to the original European settlers of the area. There are two buildings which are adjacent to Fallkill Creek. Stone Cottage, the original cottage which was home to Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, which they sold back to Eleanor in 1947 and a large two-story stuccoed building that housed Val-Kill Industries and which would become Eleanor's home after Franklin's death. It was the only residence that she personally owned.
The larger house was converted into four rental units after Eleanor's death in 1962, and in 1970 the land was purchased by a private company for development purposes. Public reaction to this sale developed into a preservation campaign and the possibility of making the site a national memorial. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation making it the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.
As a historic site
In 1984 the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill negotiated an agreement with the National Park Service and made Stone Cottage its home. In 2008 the Eleanor Roosevelt Center moved from Stone Cottage to a new facility at Val-Kill.
In 1998, Save America's Treasures (SAT) announced Val-Kill Cottage as a new official project. SAT's involvement led to the Honoring Eleanor Roosevelt (HER) project, initially run by private volunteers and now a part of SAT. The HER project has since raised almost $1 million, which has gone toward restoration and development efforts at Val-Kill and the production of Eleanor Roosevelt: Close to Home, a documentary about Roosevelt at Val-Kill. Due in part to the success of these programs, in Val-Kill was given a $75,000 grant and named one of 12 sites showcased in Restore America: A Salute to Preservation, a partnership between SAT, the National Trust and HGTV.
The site is managed by the National Park Service (NPS) in conjunction with the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. The NPS continues to partner with SAT and the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill in the management of the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.
- "Val-Kill in Hyde Park, NY". National Trust for Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "Val-Kill". The Old House. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Encampment for Citizenship at Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site official page.
- "Superintendent's Compendium". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "Park Partners". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- National Park Service: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
- Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill
- First Lady of the World: Eleanor Roosevelt at Val-Kill, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan