If this 54 room home looks a little bit small for something with both “Vanderbilt” and “Mansion” in its name, maybe it’s because Hyde Park was just one of several houses Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt owned. They also had a New York City townhouse, of course, and at various times, a Newport, Rhode Island mansion (Rough Point, later owned by Doris Duke), an Adirondack camp (Pine Tree Point), and a Bar Harbor, Maine mansion (Sogonee, later owned by radio tycoon A. Atwater Kent).
Construction began in 1895, the same year that Frederick’s kid brother, George Washington Vanderbilt II, completed his modest 250-room summer house, the Biltmore Estate.
For about three decades Frederick and Louise lived the existence of country squires, employing and patronizing many people in the community while maintaining the vast socioeconomic divide. Including the farm, the Vanderbilt estate had more than 60 employees. More studious than his siblings, Frederick had earned a degree in horticulture from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale and enjoyed applying his training on the sprawling estate. Louise died in 1926, and Frederick twelve years later.National Park Service
There were no tickets available for the tour of the interior when we visited, so we visited the Italian Garden and walked down to the Hudson River instead.