Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site


Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site

28 East 20th Street

New York, NY

(212) 260-1616

Written by Norm Katz

One of America's most colorful and best-remembered Presidents, President Teddy Roosevelt was known for his adventurousness, big game hunting, rough riders, robust and macho physique and political dealings. Tours of the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace center on its period rooms, restored to reflect their original appearance between 1865 and 1872. These rooms are the parlor room, the library, the family room, the living room, the dining room and the master bedroom. The parlor room was the most elegant room in the Roosevelt home and was furnished in the Rococo Revival Style. The library has two obelisks in it mementos of the family trip to Egypt. The dining room has horsehair chair seats that used to scratch Teddy Roosevelt's legs. A portrait of Teddy Roosevelt's mother hangs over the mantel in the master bedroom. Forty percent of the Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace's furnishings are from the original house while another twenty percent come from Roosevelt family members.

Teddy Roosevelt's Early Life

Teddy Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858 and spent the first fourteen years of his life growing up in a typical New York City brownstone in New York City's most fashionable residential district. When Teddy turned fourteen the Roosevelt family sold this original Teddy Roosevelt home and took a full year tour of Europe. Upon returning from Europe, the family purchased and moved into a home on 6 West 57th Street in New York City. The original brownstone was later totally demolished but eventually after Teddy Roosevelt's death in 1919 prominent citizens reconstructed Roosevelt's boyhood home as a memorial.

Teddy Roosevelt's Health Problems and Dreams

When he was about 12 his health began to take a turn for the better. To help him further improve his father challenged him saying: "You have the mind, but you haven't got the body. To do all with your mind, you must make your body match it." To help Teddy create the body that would match his mind, his father installed a gymnasium in the back of their house. Through regular training in the gym Teddy's health improved even to the point that his asthma no longer seriously bothered him in his activities.

Teddy Roosevelt Rough Rider and President

His health improved Teddy Roosevelt became a cowboy in the Dakotas in the 1880's, a colonel of the Rough Riders regiment during the Spanish-American War, and a hunter naturalist on three continents. In 1901 on the death of President William McKinley, Roosevelt became the 26th President of The United States.

Hours of Operation and Location

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site is located at 28 East 20th Street, New York City. For information on visiting hours or to arrange for groups visits call (212) 260-1616. There is a small admission fee.

For more information call (212) 260-1616.

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