re-opens after renovations
Historic site adds new exhibits
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
renovated Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, known as Val-Kill,
recently re-opened with a new exhibit titled "Simple and Direct."
had quite a few people in so far who have really liked the exhibit,"
Francesca Urbin, supervisory park ranger, said. "These improvements
were very much needed."
Hyde Park historic site was closed for 10 months for the renovation.
new exhibit features photographs of Roosevelt's life in Hyde Park
and of her on some of her travels. They were taken by her physician,
friend and traveling companion, Dr. A. David Gurewitsch, and will
be on display for about a year at the site.
America's Treasures helped raise more than $1 million over the past
six years for the historic site. Honoring Eleanor Roosevelt: Preserving
Her Val-Kill Home is a priority project of Save America's Treasures,
an organization that strives to rescue, restore and promote the
country's historic sites, monuments and artifacts. Sen. Hillary
Rodham Clinton founded the organization in 1998 when she was first
funded the new exhibit and introductory film," said Carol Hillman,
chairwoman of the Honoring Eleanor Roosevelt project. "We're
now working to help create other new exhibits to go on display in
the Playhouse and apartments, and to create a film of the grounds."
north side of the Playhouse at Val-Kill was renovated to restore
the historic appearance of the building, which created space for
the new exhibit. The new introductory film is being shown in the
Playhouse and is titled "Close to Home." Anne Makepeace,
a producer of documentary films, directed the 15-minute film. It
contains quotes from Roosevelt spoken by herself and actress Jane
Alexander, who played her in two made-for-television productions.
fee collection area, bookstore and restrooms were also redesigned
during the renovation.
have been very impressed with our new bookstore," Urbin said.
"We've also gotten really nice feedback about the new film.
People are really enjoying it."
is the only National Park Service historic site dedicated to a first
lady. The home first served as a retreat for the Roosevelt family.
Upon Franklin D. Roosevelt's death in 1945, it became Eleanor's
permanent home, and is where she wrote her My Day column and worked
on the Declaration of Human Rights.
Roosevelt is a beacon of light for people who care about human rights,
civil rights and peace," Hillman said. "Her legacy is
one that we feel should be preserved and extended so people can
take action themselves."