Monday, September 22, 2008

Hudson River Mansions

Today we toured the FDR family home, Springwood. FDR was born here and he and Eleanor are buried here. The home was interesting and not as magnificent as the Vanderbilt mansion we toured later. It was also nice to see that most of the rooms had something to show that children lived there, too. (They had what - 6 children.) But, the overriding presence was his mother, Sara. Poor Eleanor! I thought my mother-in-law, Lisabeth, was tough! Sara was the BOSS!
Also what was interesting to see at the FDR Library was the sculpture done by Churchill's granddaughter, Edwina Sandys, from pieces of the Berlin Wall.

The Vanderbilt Mansion was sumptuous for a country estate - 50,000 sf - and very state-of-art for its time. The rooms were larger than at Springwood and much more ornate. The Vanderbilts were very generous to their staff and to the townspeople. Frederick Vanderbilt left $250,000 to the lands keeper, but nothing to any surviving Vanderbilt. He also left at least $1,000 to each staff person who had worked for him for at least 10 years, actually a sizable number of people. Didn't hear about anything like that regarding Sara Roosevelt.

There are at least 5 other mansions to tour. We just have to come back to do those!

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