Hidden Gems of Roosevelt Island Tour

Tour Highlights

  • Sert’s Eastwood and Westview Housing Complexes: The visionary’s mid-century ideal of urban living
  • An Examination of Public Transportation: How The Roosevelt Island Tram and the Roosevelt Island F Train turned the tide for accessibility to the island
  • The Blackwell House: One of the first and oldest homes and the beginning of residential living on Roosevelt Island
  • The Chapel of the Good Shepherd: A symbol of comfort to those who were forced to call Roosevelt Island home
  • The Octagon: Now luxury housing, the center structure of this fascinating complex (completed in 1841) is actually a remnant of one Roosevelt Island’s darkest periods
  • The Lighthouse: Built in 1872 by inmates and made of stone from the island, this structure was originally used to have sailors navigate the treacherous Hell Gate, now it’s a popular place for residents to recreate

About This Tour:

From Manning’s to Blackwell to Welfare to Roosevelt, this 2.5 mile strip of New York City has gone by many names and served many purposes. Developed first as a family farm then a prison complex, asylum, and orphanage to a hospital and sanatorium, it was a place for the marginalized, forgotten, and ill. Yet the 20th century would turn it into a grand experiment in urban renewal. The result was Roosevelt Islandwhere some of the greatest architectural minds of the time had a turn at creating a completely new neighborhood in the middle of the East River.

It was here that Catalan architect and urban planner Josep Lluis Sert received one of the largest canvases on the island to create his ideal multi-family utopia. Using Sert’s Eastwood and Westview complexes as an anchor Untapped Cities will explore the hidden gems both contemporary and historic of Roosevelt Island’s varied history of being a livable community.

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