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Thread: Roosevelt Island

  1. #16

    Default Tram Broke Down Leaving Passengers Stranded Today.

    The tram stopped working in the early hours of the morning..

    Poor passengers.

  2. #17

    Default Roosevelt Island

    Just watched the news(We get WB11 here in Toronto). The last of the passengers had just been removed after 12 hours over the East River! The tram won't be working until they figure out what happened. I was planning on going there on Friday.

  3. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian
    The tram won't be working until they figure out what happened. I was planning on going there on Friday.
    Looks like you'll have to take the subway.

  4. #19
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Yeesh. I just posted this over in News and Politics....

    I think I gave the same link!

  5. #20


    Glad to read that everyone is safe.

    Heres a NYT story about how they got them out,

  6. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Yonkers/ Hell's Kitchen


    How much to rent a one bedroom apt. on Roosevelt Island?

  7. #22


    Roosevelt Island: Is this the start of a new look?


    Thursday, January 24th 2008, 9:58 PM

    Roosevelt Island, the East River and the skyline

    Paul Warchol
    The refurbished cupola and residential wings of the Octagon

    Everyone has a story about Roosevelt Island. The first time you set foot on the 2-mile long, 800-foot-wide swath of land can be jarring because of the oddly shaped buildings, large hospitals on both ends of the island and a dark and dingy Main St. The island has long been known for its history as a place where physically disabled and psychiatric patients were treated.

    With the luxury of more parkland than apartment buildings, the island should be an idyllic Manhattan location with magnificent skyline views of three boroughs. For residents, however, it can also mean living with complex community politics.

    The island is split into Northtown and Southtown with a lighthouse park on the north end of the island and communal gardens that attract organic food growers in the summer. A Little League field overlooks the East Channel of the East River. There are tennis courts on both ends of the island, and a park where the ruins of a 19th-century hospital are surrounded by wild vegetation.

    You would think residents would be smiling. Mostly, they are. But this is New York City. Opinions are currency, and the people on Roosevelt Island have them.

    "For the most part we have lived off the good graces of New York State for the better part of the past 30 years," says Judith Berdy, president of the island's Historical Society.

    "There are some who think we have suffered. Politics is a disease out here," adds Berdy, who has lived in three residences on the island in that time.

    The management: Stephen Shane runs the Roosevelt Island Operating Committee (RIOC), the group designated by the state to manage the island's tram system, landscaping, public safety and Main St. retail component. He was appointed in 2007 by Gov. Spitzer.

    An ex-real-estate attorney and special assistant to commissioner of the New York State Department of Housing, Shane has worked with developers to bring upscale residential buildings to the island while trying to maintain affordable housing at a time when some residents want to privatize public housing and take the real estate money and run.

    "You cannot do everything at once," says Shane, who according to some has made more progress in six months than several of his predecessors did in several years. "People may have got spoiled out here. Sometimes I think the residents forget what it is to live in Manhattan, the Bronx or Queens."

    Nevertheless, renting retail space on Main St. is still a problem that needs fixing. Because of legislation enacted to prevent state-operated groups from committing fraud, it takes nine months to a year to go through the approval process to rent an 800-square-foot store on Roosevelt Island.

    "I've tried several things to exempt us from this legislation," says Shane. "I'm still trying.

    "This is one of the most unique and special places in the world, but it's also the most complex."

    Renting or buying an apartment on Main St. falls under the Mitchell Lama affordable housing program and can take to two to five years. One resident, for example, waited 13 years for a $26,000 studio.

    Northtown: On the north side of the island, the Octagon building might be New York City's finest example of historical refurbishment. The cupola of the old mental asylum was renovated and developed by Becker & Becker, architects with offices in Fairfield, Conn., and Union Square, who have created more than 400 high-end and 100 middle-income units.

    Some residents sued the developer, trying to reclaim parkland, but lost, and so the Octagon becomes part of the island's future.

    "You shouldn't restore something if you don't have a good history of having done it well before," says Bruce Becker, who says that plans for a water taxi to and from Manhattan are in place.

    "Developing 5 acres on the coast of Manhattan with an historical conversion became a personal obsession for me. I wanted to do it right."

    The Octagon looks like a country club. The The LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design)-certified building has a private pool, day care center, art gallery, computer center and a deli in the lobby. Nearby parkland has public tennis courts, barbecues and seating areas along the promenade.

    Rents range from $2,000 for a 510-square-foot studio to $4,500 for a three-bedroom with water views.

    Manhattan Park, a 19-year-old, four-building complex on Main St. in Northtown, has one-bedrooms renting for $2,095 and two-bedrooms for $2,795. Three- and four-bedrooms are also available, starting at $3,395.

    Southtown: After 30 years, the area around the tram and subway station has been developed into six residential towers. The well-landscaped area, developed by Related and the Hudson Companies, Inc., has already brought a Starbucks, Duane Reade, a Japanese restaurant and a pizza parlor to the island.

    Riverwalk Court condo, the fifth building in the development, has a 713-square-foot one-bedroom/ one-bath starting at $595,000, with a monthly maintenance of $598 and annual taxes of $58. Two-bedroom/two-baths go for $935,000. These prices are 30% less than in midtown.

    "We're committed to nine buildings in this section of the island," says Bruce Beal Jr., executive vice president of Related Companies. "The buildings, the retail and landscaping add value to the area's tremendous appeal."

    Living there: Roosevelt Island's 14,000 residents are a mix of different races, income levels and nationalities, including representation by workers at the United Nations. Walking the island's periphery, I see joggers, walkers and people enjoying the Manhattan skyline. Seagulls swoop to and from the shore. Because of the specialist hospitals in the area, you'll see many motorized wheelchairs.

    "This is a social experiment gone right," says Matthew Katz, president of the Roosevelt Island Residential Association, the same group conducting elections to propose local board nominations to RIOC President Shane.

    "It's an urban ecological center with a small- town feel minutes from midtown. There is no other place in the world like it."

    P.S./I.S.287 is in the middle of the island between Southtown and Northtown on Main St. Every parent I ran into said something positive about the school.

    There are no garbage trucks on the island. Each Roosevelt Island residential structure works with an AVAC garbage disposable system that transports garbage via underground compression tubes to a centralized trash compacting center.

    Getting there: Take the Roosevelt Island tram at 59th St. and Second Ave. It's a marvelous ride with views of Manhattan skyscrapers and the 59th St. bridge.

    The F Train stops on the island, but residents complain about overcrowding even during non-rush hour hours. The Red Bus, which costs $1, on Main St. and runs about every 10 minutes. To drive, the Welfare Island bridge connects with Queens. The Q102 bus goes to Astoria, making stops at Roosevelt Island.

    The history: After the Dutch bought the land from two chiefs of the Canarsie Tribe in 1637, it passed through an English family to a son-in-law named Robert Blackwell. In the early 19th century, the city purchased Blackwell Island for $16,000.

    It became a prison for malcontents, murderers and juveniles. A "lunatic asylum" with an octagonal cupola was built on the north side of the island.
    In 1921, Blackwell Island was renamed Welfare Island. The prison closed in 1935 and moved to Rikers Island. The hospitals and research centers remained. Until the mid-1960s, the island was seen as primarily as a medical facility before contemplating the development of the barren land between the hospitals.

    In 1969, the city leased the land to the state, which invested $180 million in infrastructure for plumbing and electricity, preparing the island for residents.

    Architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee created a mixed-use utopian plan with 5,000 units of affordable to upper-income housing for an eventual population of 15,000.

    Finally, in 1973, the island was named Roosevelt Island, in honor President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt with new residential buildings lining Main St. Eastwood, with more than 1,000 units, reserves 25% of the apartments for the elderly or disabled.

    The island, finally, began to take shape as a residential neighborhood.

    My verdict
    It's clear Roosevelt Island residents don't know how good they have it. Yes, they've worked hard to build a small-town feel and they deserve to maintain it, but they might want to try working with each other as opposed to against each other.

    This is a fantastic and peaceful place to live. Without the complaints, lawsuits, constant jockeying for political representation and state problems with the retail, the island has a chance to become an outdoor wonderland with a front-view view to the finest skyline in the world. What could look like Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angles or the South Street Seaport instead resembles abandoned retail stretches of the South Bronx circa 1976. It's depressing, and the state needs to take a look.

    As for the politics, I just hope the personal-interest groups don't turn a beautiful neighborhood into a hard place to live, or worse place to visit.

    Copyright 2008 THe New York Daily News

  8. #23


    April 14, 2009, 10:40 am

    Shoring Up a Landmark Ruin on Roosevelt Island

    By David W. Dunlap


    When we last left the haunting Gothic ruin of the old Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island, it was more ruined than ever.

    While the abandoned, roofless, 153-year-old building was awaiting structural stabilization in late 2007, a large section of its north facade collapsed spontaneously, apparently the victim of moisture-filled interior walls expanding and contracting through endless cycles of freezing and thawing.

    Preservationists were especially dismayed, having long urged that some measures be taken to protect the structure, which was designed by James Renwick Jr., the architect of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

    “They should bring in the cavalry and fix this important landmark,” Peg Breen, the president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, said at the time.

    The cavalry — in the form of engineers, architects, masons and ironworkers — has arrived. The freestanding granite, brick and rubblestone walls have been repointed. Even more noticeably, the first two of five steel framework towers have been erected within the walls. These towers will be connected to the old walls to help keep the remaining structure upright while permanent plans are drawn up for its reuse. The happiest discovery of the project was that the necessary bracing could be constructed entirely inside the picturesque walls, which are illuminated at night. There turned out to be no need for exterior scaffolding.

    Last week, City Room was given a tour of the increasingly sturdy ruins by Stephen H. Shane, the president and chief executive of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, the state agency that oversees the island; Andy Stone, director of the New York City program of the Trust for Public Land, which is overseeing the $4.5 million stabilization project as part of the larger Southpoint Park plan; and E. Timothy Marshall, the president of ETM Associates, a New York City Parks Department veteran who is a planning consultant to the trust.

    “I think they’ve done a wonderful job,” Ms. Breen said on Monday, “and we’re just thrilled.”

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

  9. #24


    Introducing Dragonfly, Roosevelt Island's Tower of Salvation

    Friday, May 15, 2009, by Lockhart

    What is it about the southern end of Roosevelt Island that inspires the very best from the most noted architects of our age? As if in direct counterpoint to one of our all-time favorite creations, the Roosevelt Island Tower of Death, wacky conceptual architect Vincent Callebaut presents us—nay, gifts us—with Dragonfly, a 128-story vertical farm that appears from the renderings to overshadow just about every other creation that man has yet realized on God's green earth. There's much to love, too about the archibabble that accompanies the renderings, but let's pause for a moment while you page through the photogallery above, fully aware that your life from this moment forward will never be the same again.

    And now, we hand the microphone to M. Callebaut:
    In order to conceptualize this project and give our point of view in the ecological and social crisis debates, Dragonfly sets up along the East River at the South edge of the Rooselvelt Island in New York between Manattan’s Island and the Queens’ district. So as to face the landed pressure, Dragonfly stretches itself vertically under the shape of a bionic tower relocating a new urban biotope for the fauna and the local flora and recreating a food production auto-managed by the inhabitants in the heart of Big Apple.
    Floor by floor, the tower superposes not only stock farming ensuring the production of meat, milk, poultry and eggs but also farming grounds, true biological reactors continuously regenerated with organic humus. It diversifies the cultivated varieties to avoid the washing of stratums of soft substratum. Thus, the cultures succeed one another vertically according to their agronomical ability to provide some elements of the ground between the essences that are sowed and harvested. The tower, true living organism, becomes thus metabolic and self-sufficient in water, energy, and bio-fertilizing. Nothing is lost; everything is recyclable to a continuous auto-feeding!..
    Outlining the bank of the Roosevelt Island, the tower widens at each side of its basis to better integrate the flows that cross it and to welcome two marinas along the East River. This widening out forms two huge photovoltaic vaults such as a solar dress floating above these two urban harbours: on the western marina side, the wooden pontoons of the taxi boats open panoramically on the Midtown bank and on the eastern marina side, the floating market oriented towards the Queens’ district is designed to distribute through the river the food production of this vertical farm to the heart of Manhattan and to its million and a half of city slickers. Moreover, these two marinas accommodate two huge aquaculture ponds, true tank of soft water filtered by the planted frontages and dedicated to be reinjected in the hydroponic network of the Dragonfly tower.
    City slickers, rejoice! Completion has just been set for 2144.
    · Dragonfly: A Metabolic Farm for Urban Agriculture [Vincent Callebaut Architect via Roosevelt Islander]
    · Vertical Farm Concept for NYC Inspired by a Dragonfly [PSFK]
    · Introducing the Roosevelt Island Tower of Death [Curbed]

  10. #25


    errr :barf:

  11. #26


    that's horrendous

  12. #27


    What an incredibly stupid proposal.

  13. #28
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Default Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

    Park construction approved after 36 years

    The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. granted approval for the first phase of construction of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. The park is being designed by Louis Kahn for the south point of the island. Construction is expected to begin in the summer. The design of the park was commissioned by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1973. Two years ago, the city and state recommitted to build the park.

  14. #29


    eh, i like what's there now... nothing. a shady red staircase and falling chain link fence could go there with a lot of friends and feel like middle of no where while looking across the river and seeing the UN.... and no one would bother you.

  15. #30
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Main Street USA on Roosevelt Island

    Did you ever play with the Fisher Price Little People when you were a kid? Or Lego village sets? Did you ever notice how every store was simply named for its purpose, and there was zero competition? For example, the market was called "Market," the barber shop was called "Barber Shop," and the pet store was called "Pet Store"? Apparently, Roosevelt Island is modeled after this revolutionary idea!

    Though Roosevelt Island has its share of interesting sights, its Main Street has to be one of the most depressing places in New York City. Lined with ugly, box-shaped brown buildings that block out the sun, it seems to exist in perpetual darkness.

    Main Street is the commercial district for the island, and consists of about ten or fifteen shops, all of which I noticed the other day seem to be named like the Fisher Price Main Street. Want your nails done? Go to "Nail Salon" at #570!

    Looking to brighten your girlfriend's day? Perhaps a trip to the "Flower Shop" is in order!

    Of course, it's nice to get a discount once in a while, and for that you need go no farther than "The Thrift Store."

    Need a new hammer? Looking to rent that silly mall cop movie that recently came out? You're in luck - on Roosevelt Island, you can do both at the same establishment.

    Sure, most churches are named after a particular saint or martyr...but not on Roosevelt Island!

    Finally, when you need to send your children to school...well, you get the idea.

    The most creatively named place is the "Cards 'n' Gifts" shop across the street, the quirky yet satisfying reduction of the word "and" to a single letter suggesting a level of creativity far superior to that of their neighbors:

    And lest you think these are ancient holdovers from a bygone era, I happened upon an island sign putter-upper hanging a brand new "Senior Citizens Center" sign.

    I'm being a bit facetious - some of these stores sort of have actual names hidden in the shadows of Main Street's alleyways. But I get the sense that, with such little space available, perhaps the island designated each storefront for a particular purpose, and regardless of the current tenant, say, #570 will always be "Nail Salon." Ha, I always liked the idea of the perfect archetypal Lego Main Street, but now I'm not so sure...

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