Vanderbilt Gardens (Aired on April 1st and April 2nd 2017)
Vanderbilt Gardens volunteers Susanne Gillespie and Anita Whelan come to the RadioRotary studio to discuss the beautiful gardens they help tend at the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site in Hyde Park, NY. The Vanderbilt Mansion was the impressive summer “cottage” of Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt. Frederick maintained and improved the formal gardens on the site in the early 20th century, but after Frederick died in 1938 there were no buyers for the property. President Franklin Roosevelt, a neighbor, arranged to have the estate made into a national historic site, but during World War II the site languished Although there was money to restore the brickwork for the formal gardens, the gardens themselves were not replanted until 1984, when three volunteers approached the Park Service about taking it over. Today volunteers plant about 6,000 annual flowers each year and maintain the cherry trees.