The Vanderbilt Estate and their Italian
The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site was established as
a monument to an era rather than a tribute to any one person or
family. The estate illustrates a way of life modeled on the English
country house and is only unusual today because so few examples
survive in the 21st century. Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt enlisted
the expertise of architects, landscape designers, and interior decorators,
including Edith Wharton, to create a country estate that would imitate
and rival the grand houses of Europe.
More than a place to discuss the lifestyles of the rich and famous,
the park offers a window into the philosophy of the American country
house, the lives of its domestic staff, and its relationship to
the surrounding community. The Vanderbilt’s would “be
in residence” at their Hyde Park home for just 6 weeks a year.
In addition to a tour of the house, you should stroll on the 211
acres of park land that boast centuries old tree plantings, stunning
Hudson River and Catskill Mountain views and Italian Gardens maintained
by the volunteers of the Frederick William Vanderbilt Garden Association.