Home of FDR National Historic Site: Gardens at Bellefield

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Bellefield is an estate that was built in 1795 by a judge and then passed through many different hands. In the late 1800s, New York Senator Thomas Newbold bought the property and expanded the house and built a formal walled garden. Bellefield remained in the Newbold family until 1975 when the last heir donated it to the National Park Service.

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The NPS incorporated Bellefield into the neighboring Home of FDR National Historic Site. The house is used for offices now, but the formal garden is open to the public. It sits behind the Wallace Visitor Center.

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The garden was designed by Beatrix Farrand in 1911. Farrand was the only female founder of the American Society of Landscape Architects and was responsible for the landscaping of many college campuses including Princeton and Yale.

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I walked over to the garden after finishing up my tours of Springwood and the FDR library. In early October, there were still some flowers blooming and there was no one else in the garden with me…a lovely, peaceful place.

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Federal funds did not allow for proper maintenance of the garden so the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association partnered with the NPS in the 1990s to restore it. The arts and crafts style gates were restored by an Eagle Scout based on Farrand’s original plans.

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Hyde Park posts:

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Location: 4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538

Designation: National Historic Site

Date designated or established: Incorporated into FDR NHS in 1975

Date of my visit: 10/3/2018

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18 thoughts on “Home of FDR National Historic Site: Gardens at Bellefield

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