Historic Walking Tour
Hyde Park, New York
Historic Walking Tour
Hyde Park, New York
1 Hyde Park Reformed Dutch Church
4408 Albany Post Road
Home to a congregation established in 1789, this Federal style church built in 1826 - and expanded in 1835 - features a blunt roof steeple, round arched stained glass windows and finely crafted interior details. The historic complex includes a parsonage, a lecture hall created in Greek Revival style and cemetery with more than one hundred grave markers.
2 U.S. Post Office
1 East Market Street
FDR laid the cornerstone on November 6, 1940 for this post office designed at his direction by architect Rudolf Stanley-Brown to replicate Dr. John Bard's 1772 "Red House" using fieldstone from historic stone walls instead of wood framing. Georgian Revival style features include a hipped roof, recessed gable end wings, pedimented entrance, and paneled wood shutters. In the lobby, a mural by local artist Olin Dows depicts colorful scenes of Hyde Park's history from 1609 to 1939.
3 Bard Infant School and St. James Chapel
10 East Market Street
Following a bequest by Susan Mary Bard (granddaughter of Dr. John Bard) in 1831, this school was built and maintained under the auspices of St. James Episcopal Church to serve the children of the community. After a new town school was built in 1869, this building was used as a reading room. The Greek Revival style portico with pedimented gable leads to a double door with sidelights and transom. The Arts and Crafts fieldstone chimney and fireplace mantel were added in 1913.
The architecture of the attached chapel built in 1856 reflects the published designs of Richard Upjohn's Carpenter Gothic style including board and batten siding, steeply pitched gable roof, stained glass windows, upper trefoil design, open belfry with cast iron bell and pointed spire. The interior has intact wood scissor trusses and elaborately carved Gothic tracery. The chapel served as a winter auxiliary to the unheated main church located on Albany Post Road. Parishioners James and Sarah Roosevelt had their infant son Franklin baptized here on March 20, 1882.
4 Hyde Park Firehouse
4389 Albany Post Road
As indicated by the engraved stone lintels over the engine bays, this firehouse was built c. 1905 for the Eagle Engine Company founded in 1845 and the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company (1866), separate companies whose volunteer members included Franklin D. Roosevelt. Designed by Poughkeepsie architect William Beardsley, the Renaissance Revival style brick building features a cast iron cornice and bas relief decoration above the third story windows. The Town of Hyde Park Historical Society Museum (845-229-2559) and the Chamber of Commerce (845- 229-8612) occupy the first floor.
5 Veterans Memorial
4383 Albany Post Road
On the green to the west of Town Hall, historic stone monuments honor Hyde Park residents who served or gave the supreme sacrifice during the two World Wars, Korean Conflict, and Viet Nam War. The WWI machine gun from a German submarine was presented to the town in 1920 by then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The first town hall built in 1892 was destroyed by fire in 1964 and replaced by this brick building.
6 Hyde Park Free Library
2 Main Street
Built in 1927 as a memorial to James Roosevelt by his wife, Sarah Delano Roosevelt, this Georgian Revival style library constructed of coursed fieldstone was designed by architect Henry Toombs with Franklin D. Roosevelt's involvement. Managed and financially supported by the Roosevelt family until FDR's death, the library was purchased by the town board in 1947 from funds bequeathed by J. Sterling Bird, a prominent local physician. The adjacent c. 1840 Greek Revival style building was purchased in 2002 for offices and programs.
7 Main Street/Albertson Street/Park Place Historic District
This historic district retains the character of mid-to-late nineteenth century Hyde Park with more than thirty dwellings and outbuildings of wood-framed construction circa 1840-1895. These buildings represent an intact collection of vernacular architectural styles including late Federal, Greek Revival, Gothic, and Italianate. Main Street was the first residential street that developed off the commercial crossroads and was home to shopkeepers, physicians, craftsmen and workers from the large river estates. Privately owned, not open to the public.
8 Site of First Colonial House
7 Park Place
Jacobus Stoutenburgh, a successful merchant and trader of Dutch descent in New York City and Westchester County, began buying land in the Great Nine Partners Patent in the 1720s. He built a stone manor house in the meadowlands or "Flatts" south of Crum Elbow Creek and lived there with his wife Margaret Teller and family from 1742 until his death in 1772. The house survived bombardment by the British during the Revolutionary War but was razed in 1870.
9 Wales House
23 W. Market Street
Once part of the estate designed for Frederick W. Vanderbilt by the prominent New York City architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, this brick residence was built in 1896 for Vanderbilt's secretary, broker and friend Edward Wales. Surrounded by a stone wall and cast iron fence, this nineteenth century interpretation of the Georgian Revival style features a gable roof pierced by three chimneys and three dormers, modillioned cornice, and balustraded porch at the main entrance. In 1939 Vanderbilt left the house to his estate superintendent who had occupied it since Wales' death in 1922. Privately owned, not open to the public.
10 Stoutenburgh-Teller Burying Ground
13 Doty Avenue
Settler Jacobus Stoutenburgh established this family burying ground in 1768. Grave markers note family members who fought in the Revolutionary War. The stone wall was erected c. 1807. The ornate iron gate bears the family crest. Owned and maintained by the Stoutenburgh-Teller Family Association.
11 Langdon Estate Gatehouse
4419 Albany Post Road
This distinctive gatehouse was built in 1876 for the Hyde Park estate then owned by Walter Langdon Jr., grandson of multimillionaire John Jacob Astor. This lovely example of the Chateauesque style inspired by French manor houses features a steeply pitched hipped roof, round headed dormers, French doors, finials and decorative chimney pots and is likely the work of architects Sturgis and Brigham of Boston. Originally located 50 yards to the north, the gatehouse was moved by Frederick W. Vanderbilt who purchased the estate after Langdon's death in 1895 and built a new Beaux-Arts style mansion and gatehouses of Indiana limestone. Privately owned, not open to the public.
12 Hyde Park Railroad Station
34 River Road
The Mission style station fronting on the Hudson River was designed and constructed in 1914 for the New York Central Railroad by Warren & Wetmore, architects of Grand Central Terminal. The low pitched hipped tile roof extends into a canopy supported by decorative brackets. The interior waiting room retains original clay tile floors, wooden benches and marble water fountain. Britain's King George VI and Queen Mary left from here at the conclusion of their celebrated visit with President and Mrs. Roosevelt in 1939. In April 1945, FDR's funeral train stopped at the siding and his casket was transferred to a horse-drawn caisson to carry him to his home for interment. The Hudson Valley Railroad Society (845-229-2338) leases the station from the town and is responsible for restoration and maintenance of the building, museum operation and programs.
Celebrated for its sweeping Hudson River views, elegant Great Estates and association with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Town of Hyde Park has a rich history spanning four centuries.
English explorer Henry Hudson, sailing for the Dutch East India Company, anchored the Half Moon off Crum Elbow Point in 1609, making peaceful contact with the Wappinger Indians who lived along the shore. Settlement began in the early 18th century, spurred by three large land patents granted by the English colonial government to entrepreneurs who had purchased land from the Indians. Trading posts and landings grew into post offices and hamlets - first Staatsburg in the north, then Hyde Park in the south. The Town of Hyde Park, established in 1821, encompassed both hamlets.
This walking tour focuses on the historic Hyde Park hamlet centered at the crossroads of Market Street and Albany Post Road, from the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site* south to Albertson Street. This area formed the municipal, commercial, social and residential core of the community.
The featured properties include architecturally and historically significant churches, public buildings and residences listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Other sites pertain to the town's local history and inhabitants. Hyde Park's most famous native son, FDR, is also well-represented, his involvement with the town taking many forms over his remarkable lifetime.
*Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site was formerly part of the Bard family's original "Hyde Park" estate from which the hamlet took its name. The estate developed from a patent granted in 1705 by Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury, royal governor of the New York colony.
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