Sketch showing a design for the Franklin D.
By Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 12, 1937
Pencil on paper
14" x 8 1/2" Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, National Archives and Records Administration
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library A newspaper once referred to President Franklin
D. Roosevelt as "the nation's No. 1 unlicensed architect." As President,
Roosevelt took great interest in the designs for many of the construction
projects sponsored by his administration, sometimes reviewing drawings
and offering suggestions. FDR was also an avid amateur historian and wanted
to be sure that his papers and collections were preserved in one place.
To that end, he donated his papers to the National Archives and built
the nation's first Presidential library on his estate in Hyde Park, New
York. In 1937 the President made this sketch of the proposed facility.
The drawing reflects Roosevelt's stylistic preference for the Dutch fieldstone
farmhouses common to his native Hudson River Valley.