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“A Day at Flatiron District of New York City”

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
Ranked #163 of 1,112 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The boyhood home (1858-1872) of the only United States President born in Manhattan. It is a national historic site managed by the National Park Service. The site includes galleries and 1865 period rooms that relate the story of young Theodore Roosevelt, his ranch days, presidency and exploration period.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift, Activities for young children
los angeles
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A Day at Flatiron District of New York City”
Reviewed 31 May 2014

You can spend a very pleasant one day in New York's Flatiron District, roughly 14th to 29th Streets between Park and Fifth Avenues. Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site located at 28 E. 20th Street at Park Avenue is well worth your time and energy. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00. Tours of the house guided by Federal Rangers lasting for about 40 minutes every hour from 10:00 to 4:00, but not at 12:00 noon. A 24-minute video is shown about President Roosevelt's boyhood is highly recommended before taking the tour. For more information see www.nps.gov/thrb/planyourvisit/index.htm. Just a short stroll away is the Eataly at 200 Fifth Avenue, between 23rd and 24th Streets. It is a spectacular Italian culinary heaven. If weather permit, you can take your food to Madison Square Park across the street. In the park is Shake Shack if your prefer the all American hamburger. The famous Flatiron building is at intersection of 22nd and 23rd Streets on Fifth Avenue. A few other famous architecture landmarks are nearby. Along Fifth and Sixth Avenues in this district, you will see stores and other places for eating and drinking. One unusual store is Fishs Eddy offering china, glassware from overstocked corporations, factories and out-of-business restaurants. You get a little bit of everything in the Flatiron District, NYC and US history, culinary experience, and shopping.

Visited May 2014
3 Thank goopau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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151 reviews from our community

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Melbourne, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

Although TR's boyhood home (he lived here for the first almost fifteen years of his life) was demolished, I still gave this historical site a five-star rating. I did this because the house, though not authentic, was meticulously rebuilt according to the recollections of his sister. The informative National Park Service Staff also added to my five-star rating decision, as they were all very knowledgeable, friendly, and extremely helpful. You don't have to be a history major, or an armchair historian to appreciate the great job the National Park Service has done in bringing to life the early years of one of America's most consequential presidencies.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank OceanPotion1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
198 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Interesting House & Museum but rushed guided tour”
Reviewed 12 May 2014

This is not a well known National Historic Site, and it's a real find - free tour of the re-built brownstone house as when the Roosevelt family lived in (through the 1870's), family furniture, & museum with displays (though currently many empty cases due to renovation). Make sure to go .5 hr before the tour (on the hr at 10, 11, 1, 2, 3, & 4PM) so you can watch a 25-minute film of TR's childhood and browse the displays. We took the 5/10/14 4PM tour, and the Ranger guide was most concerned about finishing the tour in time so it generally felt rushed. The Ranger also spent most of the tour interacting with 2 youngsters, granted that was very educational but it did detract or diminish from information content that could have been provided. I was bothered that the guide never explained it's actually not the original house at all, but rebuilt (after tearing down the commercial building that the original brownstone unit became). Still recommend this site as very worthwhile & interesting to visit.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank fbc001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Escondido, California
Level 6 Contributor
211 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 290 helpful votes
“A Great Way to Learn About the Life of Theodore Roosevelt”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

I love National Historic Sites and I enjoyed my visit here, but there are a couple of important points. First, this IS the location of the actual Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, but it is not the actual house. That house was torn down and then this was built later in the same style. The majority of the furnishings are period pieces with only a very few actual pieces that were in the home when Theodore Roosevelt and his family lived here.

The guided tour of the house is about 40 minutes long. You can only see the house outside of the museum/audiovisual areas on a guided tour, so be sure you check the website for tour times. I enjoyed learning about Teedie (as a child he was called TEEDIE versus Teddy) very much and no matter what else, during this visit I learned quite a lot about this quirky, but very interesting president of ours.

Our particular tour was amusing as we shared it with two young boys and their nanny. The older boy, knew quite a bit about T Roosevelt as he had done a report on him in school and the younger has a book about presidents so tried to outdo his brother. It was pretty hilarious for the most part and maybe added to the tour a bit. Our ranger did a great job not only giving the tour, but interacting with the two kiddos and also keeping them reigned in. I felt like I learned a lot.

One of my favorite things at National Park Sites is the audiovisual programs, but this was one that did not meet my expectations. While I admit that I did learn quite a bit from it, it was completely geared towards very young children... it was awful.

Also, the museum portion of the site was being remodeled, so many of the exhibits that have been placed on the first floor, were empty.

Okay, I know I just did some complaining. It's true it isn't the best site I've been to, but I did learn a lot and that is the point here, right? And, we had a good time. The staff was knowledgeable and friendly and of course, they had a National Park Passport Stamp for you collectors. On a cold rainy day, it was a VERY warm escape from the wet. There was no fee to visit.

For those with accessibility challenges, note that there are six steps to enter the building. Inside there is an elevator, but if one is wheelchair bound, it may be challenging to get into the building initially.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank ladyjadegd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Easton, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great tour!”
Reviewed 3 May 2014

I have to confess that what initially drew me into this tour was that it was a free way to get to see the inside of a brownstone! However, I left the site a confirmed fan of Theodore Roosevelt. The tours are guided by Rangers from the National Park Service. Our guide, Mike Amato, was very informative and personable. He knew his stuff, and obviously had a great respect for his subject matter! He even recommended a book to us, The River of Doubt by Candice Millard. We are reading this now and learning a lot about Roosevelt, and the Amazon. If you are in NY, I would highly recommend a visit to this site.

Visited March 2014
2 Thank knitone1109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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