On an Open House New York boat tour, Stuart Miller and Sharon Seitz, authors of the book The Other Islands of New York talked guests through the history of New York City’s other islands, of which there are many.
Miller describes on the tour how the islands reflect the story of the city as its priorities have shifted over time. Some were originally purposed as military protection from the British during the War of 1812, named later for the families that owned them, and transformed over time into places of leisure, of isolation, of residence, and often of heterotopia. We’ve compiled here other islands of New York City.
1. U Thant Island
U Thant Island
First up was the 1/2 acre man-man island U Thant Island, situated halfway between the United Nations building and Long Island City, named in honor of the former United Nations Secretary General from Burma. The island was created from the materials excavated by William Steinway in his attempt to built underwater tunnels in the East River between Manhattan and his company town in Astoria, Steinway Village. Steinway died before completion of the tunnels, which were finished by August Belmont. Today the tunnels are still used by the 7 line train.
Not mentioned was the little outcrop just south of Roosevelt Island‘s Four Freedoms Park, where occasionally “Lou” the seal mans his perch.