Outdoor monument, events to honor Eleanor Roosevelt's time in Tivoli

Rendering of the “Small Places” monument honoring Eleanor Roosevelt off of Woods Road in Tivoli

Rendering of the “Small Places” monument honoring Eleanor Roosevelt off of Woods Road in Tivoli

Eleanor Roosevelt spent a lot of time with her grandmother, Mary Livingston Hall, at her Oak Terrace home near Tivoli. She read under the oak trees, played tennis, rode her bike, canoed the Hudson and would help the servants with the laundry at Oak Terrace. When she returned from boarding school in England, she stayed at Oak Terrace and other Hall family homes until her marriage to FDR. Her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are all buried at St. Paul's & Trinity Parish on Woods Road. 

Eleanor outside Oak Terrace.

Eleanor outside Oak Terrace.

Eleanor’s time at Tivoli gave her "a sense of belonging, place, and purpose,” according to the first volume of her biography by Blanche Wisen Cook.

From October 11-13, 2019, the village will commemorate the First Lady’s time in Tivoli, her 135th birthday, and her contribution to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a permanent outdoor monument and related events throughout the weekend.


The installation of a bronze bust of Eleanor, donated by Art for Amnesty Founder Bill Shipsey as part of a campaign to honor and promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on its 70th  anniversary, will be the centerpiece of a reflective sitting area on a site adjacent to St. Paul’s Church on Woods Road. 

An online fundraiser led by Emily Majer, the Town of Red Hook Historian and Village of Tivoli Deputy Mayor, is currently being held to raise $14,500 to fund the site.

In addition to native plantings like tulip magnolias and ferns, and the installation of a stone plinth for the bust, the site will re-purpose a 150-year-old bluestone uncovered by the Tivoli Department of Public Works “that ER likely trod in her youth, walking from her grandmother's Oak Lawn to visit her friend Carola Depeyster (daughter of well-regarded multiple-term Tivoli Village President, Col. Johnston Depeyster) at The Chateau de Tivoli,” according to Majer. 

See below for the event schedule. To donate, and receive project updates, head to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/eleanor-roosevelt-tivoli-udhr-commemoration

‘Small Places’ weekend commemoration events:

Friday, October 11, 2019 • 6pm
Watts-De Peyster Hall, 86 Broadway, Tivoli
Reception and celebration of Mrs. Roosevelt’s 135th birthday, featuring a talk by Jeffrey Urbin, Director for Education at the FDR Presidential Library, “Becoming Eleanor”

Saturday, October 12, 2019 • 10am
St. Paul’s Church, 39 Woods Road, Tivoli
Unveiling of the bronze bust and remarks by Tivoli Mayor Joel Griffith, Mrs. Roosevelt’s granddaughter Laura Roosevelt, The Right Reverend Allen Shin, Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, The Rev. Canon James Elliot Lindsley, and others.

Following the ceremony
Harris-Smith Post of the American Legion, 86 Broadway, Tivoli.
Picnic lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers.

Following the picnic, from 1pm onward
presentations at Watts-De Peyster Hall, 86 Broadway.

“Eleanor Roosevelt: The Evolution of a Leader”
Franceska Macsali-Urbin, the Supervising Ranger at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site aka Val-Kill and Sally-Dwyer McNulty, Professor of History at Marist College.

“The Meaning of Human Rights in Eleanor's Time and Ours”
Larry Cox, former Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.

“Human Rights in the Hudson Valley”
A panel discussion lead by Jen Drake of the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights, including DCCHR Chair Jody Miller, Deputy Commissioner for Special Needs Toni Ciarfella, Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center Director Jeff Rindler, and the Worker Justice Center of New York’s Human Trafficking Specialist Cecilia Cortina among others.

Sunday, October 13, 2019 • 10am
St. Paul's & Trinity Parish, 39 Woods Road, Tivoli
A Festive Service Commemorating the Life and Legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt,
celebrated by The Rev. Masud Ibn Syedullah.

All events are free and open to the public, all are welcome.

Where, after all, do universal rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: The neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
— Eleanor Roosevelt to the United Nations, 1958

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