Yet another grad-student study of Roosevelt Island
Articles Tagged ‘island history’
In 1937, hospital patients who returned to their residences in tenements were hard-pressed to recover from serious illnesses, due to miserable living conditions in their homes and neighborhoods.
Dr. S. S. Goldwater, New York City’s Hospital Commissioner, conceived the idea of a day camp for these patients, to be located on Welfare Island – today’s Roosevelt Island. From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., participants received nourishing meals and attended sessions in arts and crafts, occupational therapy, and sports, along with other fresh-air activities. They were transported to and from the camp, located in what is now Manhattan Park, by a ferry at East 79th Street. From 1939 to the late 1940s, the camp’s services saved thousands of lives.
Historian Judith Berdy will recount the little-known history of the convalescent camp, its construction, patients, and the fate of its structures, in a lecture on Dr. S. S. Goldwater and the Convalescent Camp sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, on Tuesday, January 14, at 6:30 p.m.
The event is free, and is the first in a series of spring lectures sponsored by the Historical Society.
The Historical Society promotes awareness of our Island’s unique story and pursues preservation of its landmarks and artifacts. For more information, please visit www.rihs.us.
Welfare Island’s prison for women is the setting for Island Girls, a play being presented by Theater for the New City (see ComingUp, page 5).
The plot of the play makes a newly-minted social worker confront her biases amid women of varying ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds, all of whom have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Today, the role of antiseptics and good hygiene in preventing the spread of disease and infection is considered a cornerstone of medicine. And it’s often taken for granted that patients with severe or chronic injuries should receive physical rehabilitation. What’s less known is that both these practices, and several other medical advancements, originated on Roosevelt Island.
Islanders Todd Jagerson and Jennifer Dunning were there 50 years ago when Bloody Sunday spelled the start of something big.
Between the asylum, penitentiary, multiple hospitals, sprawling apartment complexes, and the soon-to-be-completed Cornell Tech campus, Roosevelt Island has a history of unique architecture. And one of the Island’s more storied structures also happens to be its smallest: the Lighthouse.
The year was 1976. Gerald Ford was President. Abe Beame was mayor of New York. The pop chart was packed with hits from the Bay City Rollers, Barry Manilow, Diana Ross and Paul Simon (extra points to those of you who can guess the song titles popular that year). Taxi Driver, Carrie and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest hit the theaters. And the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN) was started by a group of Island parents seeking quality, community-based, early education, for their two-, three- and four-year olds.
Sixteen years ago, after nine Island-related victims perished in the 9/11 attacks, the newly formed Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA) expressed their emotions using art, in an empty window of the Rivercross building. Several months later, with the support of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), the organization received permission to use the then empty, former Bigelow Pharmacy space at 527 Main Street for a group exhibit.
Roosevelt Island’s half-dozen landmarks give it a special place in the history of New York City, health care, and health education. The city’s only landmarked ruin, the Smallpox Hospital, has a rich history.
The Main Street WIRE has started its 35th year...