Val-Kill: A Home and Retreat

Nestled beyond vast lawns on top of the knoll, sits the home of Eleanor Roosevelt, affectionately known as Val-Kill.  Often admired by Eleanor as her tranquil retreat, Val-Kill was a quiet, unassuming social center for dignitaries, world leaders, chance acquaintances and the Roosevelt family.

Here, Eleanor could focus on her activism and bring together some of the greatest minds – world leaders, royalty, heads of state, and other people of notable significance; or no visible significance – except to Eleanor Roosevelt.  At Val-Kill, everyone was equal – from the politicians coming to seek her advice and support, to the young troubled city boys of the Wiltwyck School.  She created an environment where people could connect, learn and play.

In 1976, a group of community members formed a not-for-profit educational corporation to save her home at Val-Kill as a setting for continuing her work. They succeeded in bringing about the first national historic site to be dedicated to a First Lady.

Today, Val-Kill is a living memorial to Eleanor’s considerable intellect and is a means for carrying forward her interests and concerns through education and leadership programs emanating from the site.

Our partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), and their stewardship of the Eleanor Roosevelt Center Roosevelt National Historic Site, brings our work of furthering Eleanor’s legacy to life. Their interpretation of Eleanor’s life, and life at Val-kill, creates an experience for each of us to connect to her intellectually and emotionally … provoking us to embrace her existence and take action through participation in one of the Center’s programs and initiatives.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 22 Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.