Roosevelt Common – not so common!

Tenafly, NJ has a 10 acre park that showcases a pond and the historic Theodore Roosevelt Monument.  Roosevelt Common is named for our twenty-sixth president, Theodore Roosevelt.  In 1924, thirty acres was given to the Board of Education by residents “Malcolm Sutherland Mackay, his wife Helen Raynor Mackay, and his sister, Jennie L. Mackay”.

Originally, the Common’s thirty acres, having been given to the Educational Board, included what any school grounds of that era would include: “an athletic field, a baseball diamond, an outdoor theatre, game grounds, school gardens, a picnic grove, and a woodlot for the Boy Scouts  and demonstration center for the Girl Scouts.”

Landscape architect Marjorie Sewell Cautley (1891 – 1954), in 1917 received her degree from Cornell University in an era uncommon for women to attend a college.  “In her first project undertaken as an independent practitioner – at only thirty-years old – was a public park in Tenafly, New Jersey, called Roosevelt Common. One of the interesting aspects of this design, which was applied extensively in her later work, was a use of native plants to imbue the landscape with a strong sense of place’.  Even today in Roosevelt Park you will still see some of the original plants; sycamore, birch, vibumum, dogwood, wild azalea, and sweet fern, that she used. 

 At the heart of Roosevelt Common is the historical Roosevelt Monument.  This monument, in 2006, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.  To understand how important this park is – you will have to understand its time in history. 

At the turn of the twenty century the United States was growing up – fast.  The census of the day had concluded there wasn’t anymore wilderness.  The prevailing attitude was to consume everything and not leave anything untouched.  Roosevelt “favored the use of America’s natural resources, but not the misuse of them through wasteful consumption.”.  President Theodore Roosevelt made conservation a national issue.  The conservation of natural resources is still a hot topic today.

The East was so populated that open spaces were more difficult to designate as national parks, monuments, or forests.  Because of unchecked growth, “a strong interest arose in the possibilities of the Garden Cities as discrete integrations of the townscape with communal landscapes.”

Hence, parks began to be a part of the growth of cities and towns.  Flash-forward a hundred years and  you have Roosevelt Common downsized to 10 acres that includes tennis courts, two playgrounds, walking paths, and a skate park.  Also, it is where the annual Independence Day celebration is held. 

How appropriate!

Want to know your home value? Contact Tami Rapaport’s Team

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
130 Dean Drive
Tenafly, NJ. 07670




About tamirapaport

I have been a Tenafly Realtor for many years and continue to offer excellent service for my friends and clients. I have been fortunate to be the only realtor to achive Platinum Level Sales Award for 8 years in a row! (NJAR Circle of Excellence 2002-2009) and in 2008, I ranked #3 out of 3,900 Coldwell Banker agents throughout the entire state of New Jersey! I love my job and my committment shows. I am also a member of Coldwell Banker International President's Premier, the top 1% worldwide of the heighest sales ranking within the company. Awards are great recognition, but my clients will tell you I get the job done! I am multi-lingual and speak fluent Hebrew as well as English.
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