Join Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts for a trip to Roosevelt Island with author Stacy Horn. Just steps from the ruin of James Renwick’s Small Pox Hospital, Horn, author of Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad and Criminal in 19th- Century New York, will take guests into the area’s macabre past, sharing insight from her new book. From 1839, when the New York City Lunatic Asylum opened, to 1936 when Damnation Island was finally defunct, Roosevelt Island, then known as Blackwell’s, was home to a host of infamous institutions. At this book talk, find out how this sliver of land in the East River was filled with prisons, asylums, hospitals and almshouses, hear accounts of those who were held there, and learn how muckrakers and reformers from Charles Dickens to Nellie Bly helped expose the “naked ugliness and horror” of those institutions, beginning a reform movement for compassionate mental health care and social welfare that continues to this day. Further light on that positive shift will be shed by historian Judith Berdy, the President of the Roosevelt Island historical society, who will share the history of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, and its benevolent founder, the Reverend William Glenney French. You can attend this event for free if you are an Untapped Cities Insider! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access free behind-the-scenes tours and special event all year long!
DATE: Wednesday, October 30th, 2019, 6:00PM-8:00PM
CAPACITY: 8 guests. Spots allocated on a first come, first served basis.
REGISTRATION: Opens Thursday, October 24th, 2019 at 12PM EST
See our full list of Untapped Cities Insiders Tours and our upcoming Public Tours.