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RIHS Holiday Windows at Rivercross and Holiday Kiosk Shopping

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Come visit our holiday windows in Rivercross, located next to the Subway Sandwich Shop, every day in December.  Enjoy our windows done almost entirely of items available for sale in the RIHS Visitor Center Kiosk.

The Kiosk is open daily (except Tuesday) from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.  


Our tree of gifts is full of great items to buy, especially all kinds of buses, trains, taxis, and even our tram!  


Our mischievous squirrel, Geraldine, is at it again, eating Santa’s treat of cookies while waiting for him to arrive.  Our other friendly squirrels, Gerard and Jeanette, are busy coloring our Coloring Book!! They are snuggled up in bed and having a fun time reading all those books about Roosevelt Island.

Thanks to our super decor elf, Karine Wong, for her creative talents along with Judith Berdy, Judy Connorton, and Ellen Jacoby!




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The Roosevelt Island Historical Society
Presents a Free Lecture




Jeff Richman, Historian of Green-wood Cemetery
at the
New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island
Thursday, December 8th  at 6:30 p.m. 


Learn about the final resting place of 570,000 permanent residents, where the 178-year- old cemetery has been and where it is going. Jeff Richman will talk about the landscape design, trees, sculptures, buildings and more.  We will see 19th century photographs along with contemporary images.

The lecture is sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, and supported by Riverwalk Point and Rivercross Tenants’ Corporation.   It is the fourth in a series of fall lectures sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.

All lectures take place at 6:30 p.m. at the NYPL branch at 524 Main Street. 

Save the dates below for our spring 2017 lecture series. Please send your suggestions for lecture topics to or call 212-688-4836.  

Thursday, March 2

Thursday, April 6

Thursday, May 4

Thursday, June 8

These events are FREE and open to the public.

DIRECTIONS: Take the Tram at 59th Street and Second Avenue or the F train to Roosevelt Island. Take the red bus (no charge) or walk eight minutes north to 524 Main Street.
2016 RIHS NYPL Logo




Shop This Saturday, Nov 26th 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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(at the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza)

Saturday, November 26th

11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Cards, Gifts, Toys, Puzzles, Magnets, Stuffed Squirrels, Pins, Tram Puzzles, Model Trains and much more………….

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society




November Edition of Blackwell’s Almanac Available

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Click on the link to view the PDF

2016-November Issue of  Blackwells Almanac



Fall For Arts

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On Saturday. October 10th, the RIHS participated in our Fall For Arts.  Our kids had a great time coloring images of our landmark structures.










Issue 3 of Blackwell’s Almanac, RIHS Newsletter – Available now

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Roosevelt Island Historical Society’s August Newsletter

 Vol 1 No 3 Blackwell’s Almanac   Click link to view.



Link to Blackwell’s Almanac – RIHS Newsletter

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Roosevelt Island Historical Society’s Newsletter

2015  Blackwell’s Almanac (click to view)



Tour of the City College of New York Campus

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The Roosevelt Island Historical Society

Tour of the City College of New York Campus

With Tour Leader Dalton Whiteside

Tuesday–September 30, 2014 (rain date October 7)

Our tour will begin at 10:30 a.m., starting at the north end of the campus at the crossing of 141st Avenue, just near the Hamilton Grange National Memorial (at 414 W 141st St, New York, NY 10031).

After a stroll by the historic home of our nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, we will continue on to City College’s iconic Perpendicular Gothic campus and its subsequent buildings that were later built to house various disciplines of the college. Along our tour, we will visit the Great Hall, Lincoln Corridor, and a Shepard’s grand Reception Room.

Additionally, we will cover the history of several significant buildings that preceded some of the present campus structures, their importance in the community, and untimely ends.

Next, we will arrive at what is sometimes known as the “South Campus” where you will have the opportunity to visit the Architecture Library and view the Spitzer School of Architecture’s newest exhibit on the renowned architect, Antoni Gaudi.  Some original models have been brought from Spain especially for this exhibit that highlight his unique works. If the weather holds we can ascend to the building’s roof for great views of the city.

Lastly, we have the wonderful opportunity to explore the newly constructed Science Research Center buildings whose land holds a fascinating history of being the former home of the Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart.


To register for this tour e-mail

Fee is $25- for RIHS members and $35- for guests

For more information call (212) 688-4836

(lunch will be optional at local restaurant)



Welfare Island in the Time of Edward Hopper – Free event – May 14, 2013

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Welfare Island in the Time of Edward Hopper

“Blackwell’s Island " Edward Hopper, 1928

“Blackwell’s Island ” Edward Hopper, 1928


The announcement that Edward Hopper’s 1928 painting Blackwell Island would be auctioned at Christie’s on May 23rd has sparked a revival of interest in this work.

The painting is the subject of a lecture by Judith Berdy, President, Roosevelt Island Historical Society, in a program sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, on Tuesday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m.

The painting features the north end of what is now Roosevelt Island and its dark silhouetted buildings includes the Metropolitan Hospital dome and other hospital buildings.  The lecture will incorporate period photographs to explore the context of Hopper’s 1928 work.

Blackwell Island, owned by a private American collector, has frequently been exhibited at leading museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The work has never been auctioned before.  The painting is being auctioned by Christie’s on May 23rd and will be on view at Christie’s, 20 Rockefeller Plaza from May 19 to 22, 2013.

The event is FREE and open to the public.



Plattsburgh State University School Nurse Training Class of 1965 returned to Welfare Island

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On Friday, September 21st, over 50 members of Plattsburgh State University School Nurse Training Class of 1965 returned to Welfare Island, now Roosevelt Island. This group of students studied not only to be registered nurses but school nurse teachers. They were at Plattsburgh for an intensive four year program that ran all year. They received the equivalent of an RN and teaching degree in what would now take five years to complete.

The students spent their first and last year at Plattsburgh and came to NYC to do practical nursing at Metropolitan Hospital (The Met). By the time the Class of ’65 arrived, The Met had moved to Manhattan.  Each day the students were driven from  the Central Nurses Residence  to The Met, which is located at 97th Street and First Avenue.  The second year the students relocated to a residence, Draper Hall, which had been newly built in Manhattan.

The alumni had a tour of The Met on Thursday (9/20/12) and a full day of visiting the hospital and remembering their time there. On Friday (9/21/12), they came to Roosevelt Island where Judith Berdy, RIHS Board President, guided them on a full day tour of the island including Lighthouse Park, Octagon, Main Street, Southpoint Park as well as passing by many of our island landmark structures. Everyone was most impressed with the great views of The Met from Lighthouse Park; where a group photo was taken.

Though little is left of the sites some remembered, the island was most impressive to them and interesting memories were shared among the group. The nurses recollected how they became big city sophisticates and recalled that returning to campus was boring. It seemed that many of the students were busy swallowing goldfish.