The Vanderbilt Mansion is one of the country's finest homes. It was built by wealthy industrialist Frederick Vanderbilt and his wife, Louise in 1899 after four years of construction. The architecture firm McKim, Mead, and White designed the exterior of the mansion in the Beaux-Arts style and the American Renaissance style in the interior. Visitors will get a glimpse of what life was like for wealthy families during the Gilded Age (1870-1900) and the turn of the century. The mansion sits on a 200 acre property which also features woodlands and gardens. The mansion has been owned and operated by the National Park Service since 1940. It was declared a National Historic Site in 1940 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
The property is one of the country's oldest and exclusive estates. It was owned by prominent families beginning in 1764, with physician John Bard being the first owner. Frederick's niece donated most of the property, including the mansion and its contents, to the National Park Service in 1940.