Theodore Roosevelt’s Childhood Home in Manhattan

Theodore Roosevelt pic

Theodore Roosevelt
Image: nps.gov

As president of Koch Asset Management, Donald L. Koch leads a financial services firm focused on community financial institutions. Donald L. Koch also guides the Koch Charitable Foundation, which facilitates presentations on America’s founding documents and the executive leaders who have shaped American history. A recent Koch Charitable Foundation talk was by Clark Beim-Esche, author of Calling on the Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell, a book about the childhood homes of past presidents.

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States and a pivotal figure in American politics at the turn of the 20th century, grew up on East 20th Street in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. The well-to-do area, anchored by Union Square Park, provided a stimulating environment for young Roosevelt in the 1860s.

Often sick as a child, Teddy took advantage of an outdoor gym at his home and committed to the rigors of a “strenuous life.” This helped prepare him for command of the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry, and later, for the US Presidency.

Unfortunately, by the time the historic property of the Roosevelt family was purchased by a patriotic organization, its neo-Gothic brownstone had been torn down. The house was rebuilt, however, and the home’s interior was decorated by the late president’s wife and sisters, based on memories of how the home had looked during the Roosevelt sisters’ childhood. Today, the reconstructed home is open to the public and features rooms decorated with period furnishings, including many original pieces passed down by the Roosevelt family.

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