After A Four-Decade Delay, New York City's FDR Memorial Will Finally Open Next Week

fdr park roosevelt island


In 1973, a skinny island in the East River was renamed Roosevelt Island in honour of the 32nd President of the U.S.The same year, plans for a memorial for the late president, to be located on the tip of the island, were also announced. But after completing the design for the park, architect Louis I. Kahn died unexpectedly and years of financial hardship for the city sent the project to the back burner.

But on Wednesday, Oct. 24, the memorial, called the FDR Four Freedoms Park, will officially open to the public. The plans were revived in 2005, and in 2010, philanthropist and Alphawood Foundation chairman Fred Eychaner donated $10 million towards the project.

The park, on the southern tip of the 2-mile-long island, will be accessible by subway, the Roosevelt Island tram (pictured), bus, and car. Ferry and water taxi service will eventually be added.

It's the only memorial dedicated to FDR in his home state, and the last work of Louis I. Kahn, an iconic architect.

The park overlooks the United Nations on Manhattan's East Side, fitting since FDR is known as the founder of the United Nations.

The focal point of the Park is a 1,050-pound bronze bust of FDR, based on a sculpture originally created in 1933 by Jo Davidson, a 20th-century artist.

The park will also have a digital component, with an educational website accessible to visitors on a wireless device.

The park will anchor a 12.5-acre waterfront public space on Roosevelt Island.

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