FDR and
Dutchess County Stone Buildings
Historic Stone Buildings
Stoutenbourgh House
Hyde Park Library
Poughkeepsie Post Office
Rhinebeck Post Office
Wappingers and Ellenville Post Offices
Hyde Park Post Office
FDR Library
Hyde Park Schools
Top Cottage



































FDR and Dutchess County Stone Buildings

After the battle for the Poughkeepsie Post Office, President Roosevelt focused his attention on the new Rhinebeck Post Office. The Rhinebeck Post Office, he insisted, should be modeled after "Kipsbergen," an 18th century Rhinebeck home occupied by Franklin Roosevelt's ancestors, the Beekmans. "Kipsbergen" burned to the ground in the early 20th century and President Roosevelt claimed it was important to replicate the house because it was the first house occupied by a white settler in Dutchess County and served as George Washington's headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Although those claims were false, Helen Reynolds fought against FDR's choice because she did not think the house was representative of typical colonial homes; however, the President won out in the end. At the post office dedication on May 1, 1939, President Roosevelt explained why he fought so hard for the architecture of the new buildings: "We are seeking to follow the type of architecture which is good in the sense that it does not of necessity follow the whims of the moment but seeks an artistry that ought to be good, as far as we can tell, for all time to come. And we are trying to adapt the design to the historical background of the locality and to use, insofar as possible, the materials which are indigenous to the locality itself. Hence, fieldstone for Dutchess County. Hence the efforts during the past few years in Federal buildings in the Hudson River Valley to use fieldstone and to copy the early Dutch architecture which was so essentially sound besides being very attractive to the eye."

In keeping with the local theme, President Roosevelt also brought in local artists to paint the post offices. Rhinebeck resident Olin Dows, a Vassar-trained artist and head of the Treasury Relief Art Program, was commissioned to paint the murals in the Rhinebeck Post Office. The murals depicted historical scenes from Rhinebeck's past.

Rhinebeck Post Office

Rhinebeck Post Office


"Kipsbergen" (Kip-Beekman-Hermance House)

FDR at
Rhinebeck Post Office

FDR at Dedication of Rhinebeck Post Office


Olin Dows, Mural in the Rhinebeck Post Office


FDR Library Logo Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
4079 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, New York