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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site:
Monument to the Gilded Age--
Supplementary Resources

By looking at The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site: Monument to the Gilded Age, students discover how the Vanderbilts became one of the wealthiest families in America and how their lifestyle influenced business, culture, architecture, and society in ways that still affect us today. Those interested in learning more will find that the Internet offers a variety of interesting materials.

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site is a unit of the National Park Service. Visit the park's Web pages to obtain information on activities, tours, and the history of the mansion and its inhabitants.

National Park Service, Historical Handbook
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site

In this online handbook about Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, Charles Snell explores the history of the mansion and the Vanderbilt family. From a description of the way of life in 1890s New York, to a detailed account of the estate grounds, this handbook provides a brief glance at the life and times in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also included is a list of suggested readings for further information regarding the subject.

Library of Congress: American Memory Collection
Search the American Memory Collection Web page for a variety of historical resources on the Vanderbilt family. Included on the site are documents, photographs, and other materials on the lives of these extraordinary people. Also search on Vanderbilt Mansion for architectural documentation of the site by Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record.

Other Vanderbilt Family Homes

  • The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, called Eagle's Nest, was the residence and museum built for William K. Vanderbilt II, great-grandson of New York's famed railroad and shipping magnate "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who lived 1794-1877.
  • The Biltmore Estate was built by George Vanderbilt in North Carolina and is one of the grandest estates in the United States.
  • The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island set the standard of "summer cottages." It was built by Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt.
  • Dowling College in Oakdale, Long Island was the original home to William K. Vanderbilt I. An online tour of the mansion and grounds with a detailed history is available.

F. W. Vanderbilt Garden Association
This website contains biographies of both Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt and traces the history of the land on which the Vanderbilt mansion was built back to the late 1600s.

Business Life of Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt
Written by a student at the University of St. Francis, this biography of the business life of Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt relates how the tycoon made a fortune from nothing, nearly lost it all, but ended up on top. Also included is a thorough bibliography for continued research.

For Further Reading
Students (or educators) wishing to learn more about the Vanderbilt family may want to read: William A. Croffut, The Vanderbilts and the Story of Their Fortune (Salem, N.H.: Ayer Company, 1985); John Foreman and Robbe Pierce Stimson, The Vanderbilts and the Gilded Age: Architectural Aspirations, 1879-1901 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991); and Arthur Vanderbilt II, Fortune's Children (New York: Morrow, 1989).


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