Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Roadie: Roosevelt Birthplace, NYC

My wife outside the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace located on
East 20th Street, New York City. (2/24/17)
Last September,  my wife and I took a trip to FDR Presidential Library and Museum and this Winter Recess while visiting my stepson at college we found time to stop and take a tour of Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace. Each of the multiple times over the past four years that we have been in New York City, Anne and I have endeavored to locate and visit National Park sites and monuments and this trip was no different. As a high school English teacher, I enjoy researching historical background relevant to various texts I use in class, but have never really felt like much of a student of American history. Visiting historical sites maintained by our U.S. National Parks Service, along with my wife's own passion for American history, has changed that.

Exterior of Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace. (2/24/17)

Close-up of dedication. (2/24/17)

Upstairs for "regular" visitors to the home, downstairs
for the help. We enter through the downstairs
entrance. (2/14/17)

Historical artifacts and documents with contextual information are
located in lower level. (2/24/17)

Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt's father, also named Theodore.
Due to the potential for confusion, the eventual president is
nicknamed "T.D." (2/24/17)

Living room where the Roosevelt's would
greet visitors. (2/24/17)

Living room. (2/24/17)

Close-up of living room chandelier. (2/24/17)

Bookshelf in TD's favorite room, the family library. (2/24/17)

Other than reading, the Roosevelt's also enjoyed looking
at the stereoscope--think old-timey View Master. (2/24/17)

The small velvet chair to the left of the fireplace was
specially made for TD whose skin was very
sensitive. (2/24/17)

The Roosevelt bedroom, where the future president
and his siblings were born. (2/24/17)

Close-up of chair in the bedroom. The circular silver hardware
on the wall opens to an early intercom system: the Roosevelt's would
open the apparatus and yell to the floor below. (2/24/17)

A two bedroom home, the parents shared one room and the
Roosevelt children, including TD, shared a second adjacent
room. It was dark and the "Exit" sign is the only structural modification
made to the reproduction of the original house. (2/24/17)

Close-up of porcelain doll in Roosevelt children's bedroom. (2/24/17)
The U.S. Park Ranger who conducted our tour did a fantastic job explaining each period room, sharing numerous anecdotes and offering valuable historical context. So much of what I learned from our tour is impossible to photograph, and I look forward to sharing these with my classes when the circumstances, and source documents, provide the opportunity. Like nearly every U.S. National Park Services site we've visited, I strongly recommend stopping by for an informative visit should you find yourself in the neighborhood.

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