Text Version

November 6, 1938
One-Story Structure Faces Due West Overlooking River
A Simple House to Meet a Simple Need--A Quiet Retreat Where
the President Will Live
The Dutchess-Hill house is leading America to a new
It stands today atop a wooded knoll overlooking the Hudson
River.  And it is President Franklin D. Roosevelt's
personal contribution to the building program which
economists have said is the country's quickest route to a
nationwide business revival.  
The house is literally the President's own.  It is the
culmination of an idea that has been with him for twenty
years.  And its final plans come from sketches drawn by the
President's own hand.  
Mr. Roosevelt recently disclosed to newspapermen that for
twenty years he had wanted a home of his own.  Last
February he completed the sketches reproduced on this page.
 Now this house has become an actuality, and leaders of the
building industries say its announcement will spur
residential construction throughout the country.  The
President's new home will be known as Dutchess Hill
Cottage.  It is named for the beautifully wooded knoll near
Hyde Park on which it is situated--a 70-acre forest tract
which the youthful Franklin Roosevelt roamed and knew well.
Its design is of the traditional Dutch Colonial style of
architecture which originated in that part of the country.
A long, one-story structure with steeply pitched roof and
small windows, the house will face due west, overlooking
the Hudson.  The side walls are constructed of native
field-stone, gathered from the fields around Crum Elbow. 
These are in rich reds, browns and gold-grays, contrasting
handsomely with the painted wood shutters and square porch
columns.  The traditionally sweeping Dutch roof is covered
with blue-black mineral-surfaced asphalt shingles.  
The interior of the house is casually and comfortably
planned.  The central unit contains a large living room
with an open fire-place dominating one side.  Four large
windows and sliding French doors permit a view up and down
the river valley.  
Two bedrooms and bath are contained in one of the two wings.
 In the other are kitchen and servants quarters.  
The furniture will be of the simple farmhouse type such as
that used by the President's forbears when they first
located in this country.
For, indeed, this will be a simple house, to meet a simple
need.  Mr. Roosevelt wants it as a quiet retreat where he
may retire from the hustle and bustle of a noisy world. 
With that thought in mind, the President designed his home
without a telephone--so that the outside world could not
intrude upon his moments of rest and relaxation.
Dutchess Hill Cottage is almost completely unlike the
typical American home built a few years ago by another
famous statesman--Governor Alfred M. Landon of
Kansas--though they are both covered in fire-resistant
asphalt shingles.  
Governor Landon's home is set on a 25-acre site near Topeka.
 It is styled along the lines of Washington's colonial
Mount Vernon, and the keynote of its architecture is simple
Large white Ionic columns of pressed steel support the high
piazza that fronts Mr. Landon's home.  It is constructed of
permanent materials.  Exterior walls are of brick, painted
white.  Two wings, which lead back from either end, form a
three-sided court in the rear.  The long expanse of roof,
with five graceful gables, is surfaced with green asphalt
It is significant that both these famous Americans should
specify colored asphalt shingles for their new homes.  In
addition to their fire-resistant quality--an important
factor in home safety--mineral surfaced asphalt shingles
are today manufactured in a wide variety of colors which
permit a selection to blend with the foliage of the
surrounding country or with the other building materials
used in the structure.  
In designing his own home, President Roosevelt follows in
the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson, who, in addition to
being President, was also a talented architect.  Mr.
Jefferson designed his famous home, Monticello, near
Charlottesville, Virginia.  
Mr. Roosevelt, however, explained to newspapermen that he
had called in architect Henry Toombs, of Atlanta and New
York, to "assist" him because he didn't want to get caught
practicing architecture without a license.  
Although the President's new house is now ready for
occupancy, its completion is said to cast no prophecy
concerning the possibility of Mr. Roosevelt serving a third
term.  It is simply the fruition of a dream he has long had
to own his own home near the site of his ancestral house at
Hyde Park.  
And it indicates, far better than any Presidential decree
could ever do, that within Mr. Roosevelt's breast surges
the same desire to create and build his own home that has
made of America a nation of land-owners where the family is
still the unit of strength.
[captions, clockwise from top]
This is a drawing of the front of President Roosevelt's
telephone-less "dream house."  Estimated by the President
to cost about $15,000, Dutchess Hill Cottage is designed in
the traditional Dutch Colonial style of architecture.  It
contains two bedrooms, bath, servants' quarters, kitchen
and pantry and a large living and dining room.  Its long
roof is covered with fire-resistant mineral-surfaced
asphalt shingles of the popular blue-black color.
President Roosevelt's own sketch of the floor plan of his
"dream house", (above) drawn and initialed by him last
February.  At right is the finished drawing by Architect
Henry Toombs, which followed the Chief Executive's floor
plan sketch.
A sample of the President's architectural draftsmanship--the
north elevation of the center portion of the building and a
cross-section of the living room from the north.
How the rear of the one-story Dutchess Hill Cottage will
appear in its secluded setting on a wooded knoll above the
Hudson River.  Of native stone, the structure will be
heated with warm air from a cellar furnace.
Roosevelt, the builder.  Shown above is the President as he
laid the cornerstone for the new postoffice in
Poughkeepsie, N.Y., last year.  Perhaps the urge to build
his own home was engendered by participation in such
building dedications as this.
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