The story of the park is long, but in short, architect Louis Kahn designed plans for this monument in the months before his death in 1974. After decades of unrealized plans and lack of financing, momentum to build Kahn's FDR memorial picked up a few years ago. Residents of Roosevelt Island were divided on whether or not this was a good idea. At the time, this site was a rare thing - a small, verdant patch of undeveloped land, a remnant of a primordial Mannahatta. Building on a green space in New York City with uncommon views of the surroundings was a tough decision. Especially if the thing in question was a big deal with many question marks.
An open room and New York City. That's Manhattan over there to the west.
Keep going to the vanishing point.
This huge bust of FDR on the right, impossible to discern in detail in this image, is by Jo Davidson (1883-1952). You may also know Davidson's sculpture of Gertrude Stein in Bryant Park.
(Insert your favorite inspiring thought here.)
I think I can say without hesitation that this is the greatest public space ever to be built in the middle of the East River.
Park hours are Thursday – Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm. www.fdrfourfreedomspark.org
Recommended transportation: The Roosevelt Island Tramway, the aerial tram that connects Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, offers sweeping views of the island, the East River, and the park.
Though sited on a vulnerable island in the East River, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park was undamaged during Hurricane Sandy.
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from Sunday afternoon, December 2, 2012.