Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site (Location)
The Vanderbilt grounds were only a couple of miles north of the Roosevelt Museum and we did not have time on this trip to tour both so we opted to head north for that couple of miles on Hwy #9 to the Vanderbilt Mansion just in time to sign on for the last scheduled tour.
While we were waiting for our tour to begin, I had an opportunity to search out two different styles of fire hydrants on the property. The basic red paint jobs were looking a bit tattered. Both were significantly older than the pink model that I had photographed only minutes earlier at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum parking lot.
We were on the last tour for the day. Our group of individuals was much smaller than the organized tour group who had just finished visiting the mansion. After the departure of this larger group back to their colorful tour bus in the parking lot, we were left with a feeling that we had the whole property to ourselves with only the light breeze and the birds to occasionally break the silence.
The name Vanderbilt is usually associated with wealth and lots of it and this mansion was just one example of how members of the Vanderbilt’s used some of their wealth. During this trip to New York City, we had, in fact, been to other locations associated, at one time, with the Vanderbilt’s initial source of wealth, transportation. The Staten Island Ferry which we used to go from Manhattan to Staten Island, has its Manhattan terminal built on property which once served as docking space for Vanderbilt boats and the Poughkeepsie train station still sports the name New York Central Railroad, another Vanderbilt successful commercial enterprise, over its entrance door.
From a distance, the Vanderbilt Mansion does not appear to be overly large, but once inside, you might get a different impression. The first thing that I noticed upon entering through the front door is that there is no grandiose central staircase but rather just a nice, albeit large, sitting area which could easily double as a sizeable dance floor with a bit of rearrangement of the furniture.
The staircase is off center left in the above image but before heading upstairs and feeling the fine texture of the velvet bannister, a bit of exploring of the many rooms situated on the main floor reveals lots of variety and a bit of intrigue.