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The Roosevelt Island Historical Society
Join Historian Robert Singleton for a Fascinating Journey thru our Neighboring Borough
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11th
Roosevelt Island Branch, NYPL,
524 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
In the early years of the 20th century, Queens County underwent an enormous transformation.
The Queensboro Bridge of 1909 forever changed the landscape of this primarily rural area into the urban metropolis it is today. Forgotten Queens shows New York’s largest borough between the years 1920 and 1950, when it was adorned with some of the finest model housing and planned communities anywhere in the country.
Victorian mansions, cookie-cutter row houses, fishing shacks and beach-side bungalows all coexisted next to workplaces and commercial areas. Beckoning with the torch of the new century and a bright promise for those who dared to pioneer its urban wilderness, Queens flourished as a community.
Robert Singleton, Executive Director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society will take us on a journey thru these neighborhoods, moments from Roosevelt Island.
Welfare Island in the Time of Edward Hopper
“Blackwell’s Island ” Edward Hopper, 1928
EDWARD HOPPER’S VIEW OF BLACKWELL ISLAND
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.
TIME TO UNWIND:
THE MOUNT VERNON HOTEL MUSEUM &
LEISURE IN JACKSONIAN NEW YORK
Built in 1799 and one of the eight oldest buildings in New York City, The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden interprets travel, leisure, work and play in diverse antebellum New York.
Dana Settles, Curator of Education, will describe the leisure activities of New Yorkers in the 1820s. Some highlights will include traditional toasts and activities in the taverns, and the guests who frequented these locales.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
The NYPL Branch Library, 524 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
Sponsors: The Roosevelt Island Historical Society and The New York Public Library, Roosevelt Island Branch
This program is FREE and Open to the Public
The Roosevelt Island Historical Society promotes awareness of our Island’s unique story and pursues preservation of its landmarks and artifacts.
This program is funded by the office of City Council Member Jessica Lappin
DIRECTIONS: Take the Tram at 59th Street and Second Avenue or the F train to Roosevelt Island.
Take the red bus for 25 cents or walk eight minutes north to 524 Main Street.
Click here to view the FDR Four Freedoms Park website.
The park is open Thursday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. only.
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.
MAPPING ROOSEVELT ISLAND: 1656 TO 2011
(where in the world is Roosevelt island?)
An exhibition of maps created over a 350-year period reveals the effort to delineate the topography and the changing role of Roosevelt Island: from a private Dutch colonial holding to the site of an extensive array of social welfare institutions operating from the mid-19th century to the current day.
Explore the island history through these eight unique maps from the archives of
The Roosevelt Island Historical Society
The exhibition is on display in:
The Octagon Gallery
888 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The exhibit is FREE and will be on view through August 20, 2011.
INHABITING MNEMONIC DESIGN ON ROOSEVELT ISLAND
Window Display Invites Memory and Creation in Depiction of Artists’ Residence within Ruins
Mnemonic design involves “a personal connection to a space,” according to Ellen Ivanits. Her plan for an artists’ residence built in the partial structure of the Smallpox Hospital, now in ruins on Roosevelt Island, invites artists to use memory in an act of creation. On view in the window of 513 Main Street, Roosevelt Island thru August 30, 2011
R.I.H.S. Visitor Center Kiosk
Visit our historic center to obtain information about the island history, walking tours, maps, events, sites and information about the newly opened Southpoint Park.
Open Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. and Friday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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The Roosevelt Island Historical Society’s Kiosk is being restored. Here are photos of 100 years of paint being stripped off to reveal the cast iron and even some copper around the windows.
Half cleaned Kiosk
Comparing the two halves