The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site was established to preserve in public ownership the historically significant property associated with the life of the Vanderbilt family. The primary mission of the National Park Service is to preserve the Vanderbilt Mansion, grounds and gardens unimpaired for future generations, by managing the use of park areas in a manner that will protect against the impairment of park values and purposes and then to provide for public enjoyment.
Congress has instructed the National Park Service that: "The authorization of activities shall be construed and the protection, management, and administration of these areas shall be conducted in light of the high public value and integrity of the National Park System and shall not be exercised in derogation of the values and purposes for which these various areas have been established..."
In some instances, the Vanderbilt Mansion's location, facilities and significance can be used in other ways that might provide a benefit to an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large. These are special park uses and require written authorization in the form of a permit. While some special park uses might be appropriate, others may not be due to size, scope and impact on visitor enjoyment, park grounds and facilities. In general, the National Park Service may permit a special park use if the proposed activity will not:
· Cause injury or damage to park resources; or
· Be contrary to the purposes for which the park was established; or
· Unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in wilderness, natural, historic or commemorative locations within the park; or
· Unreasonably interfere with the interpretive, visitor service, or other program activities, or with the administrative activities of the NPS; or
· Substantially impair the operation of public facilities or services of NPS concessionaires or contractors; or
· Present a clear and present danger to public health and safety; or
· Result in significant conflict with other existing uses.
Activities for which special use permits may be required include (but are not limited to) the following: wedding ceremonies and wedding photography, indoor and outdoor filming and photography, using the site to conduct business, special interest group meetings, athletic events, distribution of printed matter, memorialization and collecting research specimens. In addition to application charges, the National Park Service may charge to recover costs incurred (such as monitoring or maintenance) due to the activity, and may require proof of liability insurance from the permittee. The permittee is also required to agree to conditions on the activity in order to ensure safety and protect park resources.
Did You Know?
Louise Vanderbilt's bedroom at Hyde Park, was inspired by the Marie Antoinette chamber at, The Palace of Versailles.