8. The Visitors Center Was Part of a Lost Trolley Line

  • Roosevelt Island Visitors Center
  • Inside the Roosevelt Island visitor center

The adorable Visitors Center tucked at the base of Queensboro Bridge has a fascinating history, and secrets of its own. The tiny structure dates back to 1909 when the Queensboro Bridge had a trolley line that went to AstoriaFlushingCollege PointCoronaSteinway and Queens Boulevard. There were originally five kiosks located between the inbound and outbound lower level roads between 59th and 60th Street. After the last trolley ran on this line in 1957, 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.

When the museum was redesigned in 2003, the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) wanted to bring the kiosk back to the Manhattan side of the bridge. After a four year effort, the kiosk opened in 2007. It is run by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society today and serves as resource point for those looking for more information about the island. Inside, look up and you’ll find Guastavino tiling, the familiar herringbone patterened arch system found in Grand Central TerminalEllis Island, the decommissioned City Hall subway station, and many more places. Learn more about the Visitors Center here!