12. Roosevelt Island’s Visitor Center
A few steps after getting off the Roosevelt Island tram, you will be greeted by a stately but tiny welcome center. The welcome center structure dates to around 1909 when the Queensboro Bridge once had a trolley line, but this building was only moved here in 2007. There were five trolley kiosks, located between the inbound and outbound lower level roads between 59th and 60th Street. Like other parts of the Queensboro Bridge, the visitors center is one of the places in New York City you can find Guastavino tiling.
The last trolley ran on this line in 1957 and three of the five kiosks were demolished. One was moved to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights where it functioned as the entrance to the museum until the museum was completely redesigned. Judith Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, spearheaded the efforts to get the kiosk moved to Roosevelt Island, where it was restored and reopened as a visitors center.
The visitors center is an optional stop at the conclusion of our tour of Guastavino’s New York: