Yesterday we decided to check out Roosevelt Island. We often go past the Sky Tram that takes you over to Roosevelt Island (though you can take the subway as well) and have thought it would be a good day trip. So yesterday was the day!
Roosevelt Island is a small island in the East River. On one side of the island you can see Manhattan and the other Queens. To get over to the island we took the sky tram which runs pretty regularly weekdays and on weekends. Once you are on the tram it only takes about 5 minutes to travel across. We were quite lucky on the way to the island because there weren’t many on the tram, so we could take lots of photos and check out the view. Unfortunately at 1:30 in the afternoon it was packed going back!
Once we arrived on Roosevelt Island we decided to walk around the entire island before stopping and having lunch then heading back over to Manhattan. The island is 3km long, so definitely was achievable but left me tired, hungry and sore at the end! I definitely got my exercise yesterday. Unfortunately, much to Tate’s disappointment, he had to stay in the pram or we would have been there all day and night!
It was interesting to learn a bit about the history of Roosevelt Island while we were there. In 1828 the City of New York purchased the island from the owners (the Blackwell family) for $32,000. That is equivalent to around $670,000 today. A whole island for not really a lot more than the average family home!
After walking part of the island we stopped at a playground for Tate. He would have been disappointed if we didn’t at some point!
Right by the playground there is a bit of a historical landmark called The Octagon. From the playground you can see the back of it, with a swimming pool, but I snapped a photo from the front. The Octagon was built in 1834 and was originally the main entrance to the New York City Lunatic Asylum. Now, however, it is the main lobby of an apartment building.
At the northeast tip of the island is a lighthouse. The stone lighthouse was built in 1872. Unfortunately we couldn’t get too close to check it out as it is currently fenced off.
At the other end of the island is Southpoint Park and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. At Southpoint Park there was a lovely old building called the Strecker Memorial Laboratory. From my research, it was built in 1892 to serve as a laboratory for City Hospital. Now it is used by the Metropolitan Transit Authority to house a power conversion substation for trains that run under Roosevelt Island.
There are also the ruins of the Smallpox Hospital that was built in 1856. It’s currently fenced off but after the completion of a stabilisation project should be open to the public.
After the hospital ruins it was onto the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. The park has only been open for 8 months.