The FDR Hope Memorial planned for Southpoint Park got a shot in the arm earlier this month – a $150,000 anonymous donation that appears to ensure that the tribute to the late president, showing him in a wheelchair greeting a young polio victim, will be in place as early as autumn 2016.
State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright brought the good news to Roosevelt Island and presented it to Jim Bates, president of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA), with a ceremonial oversized check endorsed by “Anonymous.” Bates said the funds, once matched by State and City contributions, represent the final financial piece needed to put the memorial in place.
After the clay rendering is finished, the work of sculptor Meredith Bergmann will go to an Arizona foundry for casting. Before the molded bronze arrives for placement on Roosevelt Island, the site will be prepared by substituting granite blocks for the asphalt now in place. The setting is a cul-de-sac in Southpoint Park, just north of the Renwick Ruin (former Smallpox Hospital), which itself is just north of Louis Kahn’s Four Freedoms Park.