Monday, July 5, 2010

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace

Manhattan, New York

Ever have a curiosity itch that you just have to scratch? You leave a movie and can't go to sleep until you remember the name of that actor and what other movies he's been in or you hear Brian Williams' introduction on the NBC Nightly News and know you've heard that voice before but can't rest until you've researched it and found out it's Michael Douglas.

One of my favorite things about house museums is how you are exposed to an idea, a philosophy, a person, or a historical occurrence and it sparks a question that you just have to have answered - a curiosity itch. One historic home can ignite hours of research on numerous topics.

For me the birthplace and home of Theodore Roosevelt did just that. After my visit I watched a 4 hour PBS series on his life; searched the web for more information on his irrepressible daughter Alice; and researched other house museums within the city of New York.

The Union Square home is easy to find and the tour and exhibits offered a rich background in the man and his philosophy.

And on the big plus side - I bought my first coloring book since childhood. Historic Houses of New York State includes sketches of 43 homes with a short introduction that focus's on the home owner's life and/or architectural points of interest.

From a coloring book's perspective here's what's of note. "This typical four-story brownstone, the birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt, is located on what was a quiet,tree-lined street in New York's most fashionable residential district. After the family moved in 1872, the house was eventually taken over for business purposes and was completely demolished in 1916. After Theodore Roosevelt's death in 1919, the site was purchased and the original house reconstructed as a memorial. This was America's first Victorian reconstruction and is now a National Historic Site."

I should find my crayons and color this in but with my curiosity itch scratched I think I'll just move on.

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