Photograph Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

When FDR Four Freedoms State Park opened in 2012, nearly forty years after work originally started in 1973, it became the 214th state park in New York. The park and memorial for former President Franklin D. Roosevelt was designed by the late modernist architect Louis Kahn who also designed the Yale University Art Gallery, the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. In all of his work, Kahn employed “bold geometric forms, skillful manipulation of natural light, and artistic control of architectural expression to create a richly layered spatial experience.”

Kahn’s symmetrical design for Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island incorporates his modernist style and a subtle naval theme, with the park standing in as a prow to the island’s “boat.” Forced perspective draws visitors to focus on the massive sculpture of FDR’s head, created by Jo Davidson, at the end of the island inside the “Room.” The “Room” is inscribed with FDR’s Four Freedoms, as laid out in the former president’s eighth State of the Union address, before America’s entry into World War II. These freedoms include freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Photograph Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

On September 17th, Stephen Martin, a member of the original Four Freedoms construction team, will lead a tour of the park’s modernist architecture and explore the design philosophy and work of architect Louis Kahn. This tour will cover the 40-year history of FDR Four Freedoms State Park, from its original conception and design in 1973 to its construction and completion in 2012. Topics discussed will include Kahn’s posthumously completed design for the FDR memorial and issues surrounding public memorialization. The park can be accessed via subway, ferry and a tram from Manhattan.

If you are or become an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this tour for free!

Photograph Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

Photograph Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

See our full list of public tours and Insider events!

Next, check out 10 Under the Radar NYC Waterfront Parks Across the 5 Boroughs

 fdr, FDR Four Freedoms Park, four freedoms park, modernist architecture, Roosevelt Island

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