Frederick William Vanderbilt
Frederick Vanderbilt was the brother of Cornelius II and William K. Vanderbilt, as well as of George Washington Vanderbilt, and five sisters. Upon the death of the Commodore, Frederick received $2 million dollars from his estate. A Yale graduate, Frederick worked in several departments of the family-run New York Central Railroad, eventually becoming its director, as well as serving as the director of more than twenty railroads.
Frederick had several residences in Manhattan, including on Fifth Avenue for a time and later at 10 East 40th Street, a building which he owned and which was and is considered an art-deco masterpiece. Evidently bored with railroads, he spent his portion of the Vanderbilt fortune, which increased upon the death of his father, by traveling, building several mansions, including a Newport summer home which he seldom used, and by yachting.
After completing the seemingly requisite Newport Mansion, (Rough Point, just off the Cliff Walk), Frederick built Pine Tree Point, an Adirondack camp on Upper Saint Regis Lake. Vanderbilt hired Japanese workers after the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition to build Japanese-style structures, and remodel the existing buildings in Japanese style. Servants at the camp dressed in Japanese costume.
Vanderbilt also purchased Hyde Park, a 600-acre estate on the Hudson River which had once been owned by John Jacob Astor. With his wife Louise, Frederick built a 54 room mansion in the beaux-arts style, with steel and concrete structural support, its own hydro-electric plant powered by a tributary of the Hudson (which provided electrification well before the rest of the area), and furnished it lavishly, including antiques purchased for them by Stanford White.
Frederick maintained elaborate gardens on the estate, including a rose garden which held more than 2,000 rose bushes. One of his neighbors, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, used portions of the estate to house Secret Service agents when he visited his own Hyde Park estate years later as President of the United States. Frederick’s estate was worth just less than $80 million when he died, and after several charitable donations most of went to a niece, Margaret Van Alen.