Martin Van Buren National Historic Site


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The Martin Van Buren National Historic Site is in Kinderhook, NY.  Van Buren was the 8th president of the United States, the first American-born president, and a founder of the Democratic Party.


He moved here to the home called Lindenwald in the mid 1800s after serving out his presidential term and losing his bid for re-election. It was a tumultuous time in our history, as our nation teetered on the brink of civil war. Van Buren had no intention of retiring in Lindenwald. He enlarged the home and ran two more presidential campaigns using the mansion as his campaign headquarters, before ultimately conceding defeat and becoming a ‘gentleman farmer’ on the 220 acre estate. The home was again expanded to 36 rooms, complete with modern conveniences such as running water when Van Buren’s son moved into Lindenwald with his family.


My husband and I stopped at the visitors center several years ago on our way up to Lake Placid. The only way to see the inside of the home is on a ranger-guided tour, so we took the tour. We didn’t know much about Martin Van Buren or his presidency and so we enjoyed the ranger’s informative talk as we walked through the mansion.


The Ogee arch originated in the Arab world and later became popular in medieval England


The home has many interesting architectural details, like the Ogee Arch in the formal parlor and the Palladian window in the second floor bedroom and the stair tower that connects the old and new portions of the home. The home was designed to impress as Van Buren frequently entertained his political guests here.

Location: Kinderhook, NY

Designation: National Historic Site

Date designation declared: 10/26/1974

Date of my visit: 7/25/2011

In the mid 1800s, having a tub with running water and a flush toilet was quite unique
The winding staircase connecting old and new sections of the house
The guest bedroom on the second floor. Servants quarters were on the 3rd floor.

7 thoughts on “Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

  1. Very cool post! I did not know of this historic site. Van Buren was known as a very skillful politician, hence his nickname “The Fox of Kinderhook.” Ah, but he was unlucky–an economic depression (then known as a “Panic”) hit the country in the first year of his presidency.

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