Multimedia Presentations

Theodore Roosevelt, circa 1870
Theodore Roosevelt, circa 1870

NPS

'Teedie' - A Film by Edmond Levy

'Teedie' is a film that chronicles the life of young Theodore Roosevelt in 1870 during a very pivotal time in his existence. This is the same film that is shown to visitors at Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace. To view this film, please click on the links below.

Teedie- Part 1

Teedie- Part 2

 
 

Transcript

The unassuming house at 28 E. 20th St. in Manhattan is easy to overlook. When it was built, it was one of many brownstone townhouses that characterized residential New York City architecture in the mid-19th century. The site, however, was the birthplace and childhood home of Theodore Roosevelt- naturalist, outdoorsman, soldier, New York state governor, and the nation's 26th President. Roosevelt and his family lived in the house between 1854 and 1872 when they moved to west 57th street and fifth avenue. Thus Roosevelt was born in the house, and spent his formative early childhood years, before moving at the age of 14.

The historic site you visit today is not the actual house that Roosevelt and his family occupied. It’s a re-construction of the house opened as a memorial museum in 1923 to honor his life and achievements. After Roosevelt's incredible life came to an end in 1919 at age 60, his wife (Edith), sisters (Anna and Corinne), and other friends and relatives formed the Women’s’ Roosevelt Memorial Association. Using privately raised funds, they hired a renowned female architect, named Theodate Pope Riddle, to design a faithful reconstruction of the family home on its original site at # 28 East 20th Street, with many of the original furnishings.

Riddle, a self-taught architect, was known for her renovations of colonial style homes and became famous as one of the most skilled architects in the male dominated profession. The house became the nation's first victorian period renovation. Theodate Pope Riddle oversaw the re-construction of the house, complete with an adjoining museum. The original rowhouse next door at number 26, which was identical to the Roosevelts', belonged to Theodore‘s uncle Robert, and was used as a model. Some architectural elements from Robert's house were incorporated into the re-constructed birthplace. The twin house was demolished to make space for the museum. The restoration re-creates the house as it was in 1865.

Construction took place between 1920 and 1923. On the second anniversary of Roosevelt’s death, in 1921, the cornerstone was laid by Leonard Wood, Theodore’s close friend since their days as Rough Riders, and the house was dedicated as the Roosevelt House.

The historic site consists of five period rooms, two museum galleries, a research library, auditorium, and a gift shop. The site was independently operated for 40 years, before the [Roosevelt] Memorial Association donated it in 1962 to the National Park Service, and it became Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site. 2013 will be the 50th Anniversary of the birthplace as a unit of the National Park Service. Today, the birthplace and museum stand as a tribute to the incredible life and legacy of one of the nation’s greatest presidents, the only president to hail from New York City.* Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM. Ranger lead guided tours are available every hour (except noon) from 10 AM to 4 PM each day. Come see how one of the nation's most beloved president grew up in New York City.

* Since this recording, there has been another President who has hailed from New York City.

 
Theodore Roosevelt speaking to a crowd.
Theodore Roosevelt speaking to a crowd of onlookers in Yonkers, New York on October 17, 1910.

The Sights and Sounds of Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt had the unique good fortune of being president during the infancy of sound recording and silent motion pictures. He utilized the media to its fullest. Many silent films and recordings of Theodore were created, thanks to Thomas Alva Edison and his inventions, the motion picture camera and the wax cylinder method of sound recording.
See Theodore in action and hear his voice by following the following links:

The Sights of Theodore Roosevelt

The Sounds of Theodore Roosevelt

 
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace on the Travel Channel.
The 1912 assassination attempt on Theodore Roosevelt is described on 'Mysteries at the Museum'. The episode was filmed at Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace.

Travel Channel

Learn about Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace

National Historic Site from a ranger!

Join Ranger Daniel Prebutt as he discusses the 1912 assassination attempt on Roosevelt for 'Mysteries at the Museum', originally aired on The Travel Channel in 2010.

View a virtual house tour from the C-SPAN video library that was aired in 1996.

Last updated: March 27, 2021

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Mailing Address:

28 East 20th Street
New York, NY 10003

Phone:

(212) 260-1616

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