Very interesting video about the beginnings of Roosevelt Island as a
residential community. According to the narrator:
… in 1968 plans were set in motion on a local state and national level
to create on this neglected little island one of the most advanced new towns
in the United States, Roosevelt Island.
Some of the old buildings have been preserved as historic landmarks and
integrated functionally into the life of the community. The 18th century
Blackwell House stands in sharp contrast to the modern lines of this urban
Architects were careful to design these buildings so that almost every
apartment has a view of the river. Main Street, the Islands main thoroughfare,
is fashioned after a twisting European village type street.
Vehicles are not allowed on the Island except by special permission and for
limited periods of time….
… an entirely new school system has been
developed here. Five separate mini
schools are tucked into the ground
floors of apartment complexes dispersed
throughout the island each for about 225
students all within walking distance. These schools offer some of the finest
education. In addition daycare centers
are available to working parents.
end of nineteen seventy six over 2,000
families had acquired a new lifestyle in
the city within a city and there is room
…The apartment complexes are for low,
middle and upper income housing and all
designs incorporate the needs of the
handicapped and the elderly.
One of the newest forms of
transportation in New York is the
battery charged electric bus. Clean,
noiseless and pollution free.
Residents are only five minutes from
Manhattan by aerial tramway. It’s the
only place in the United States where
such vehicles are used for urban mass
transit. Each car holds 125 passengers.
Roosevelt Island stands as an example of
innovative planning and cooperation by
many levels of government. t’s a
prototype for enlightened city planning
Watch the video.
The Neighborhood Slice TV program
profiled an early Roosevelt Island pioneering resident Sande Elison who moved
here with her family in 1977.
Ms. Elinson notes that Roosevelt Island:
… was all affordable. That was the whole reclaiming this and keeping people
in the city. Keeping the middle class and then all these families, all these
kids, we would sit in the parks and we realize, boy, we could set up a
baby sitting coop, a little league, an artists association a garden…
… Roosevelt Island was paved and developed. The three new complexes have now
increased us from 4000 when we came here to close to 15,000 people. Now we
have three streets.
What was available to us in 1976 on a teacher’s income is not available now
but the new buildings have young families in them….
… It’s heaven… a beautiful wonderful place still to live.
The changing nature of Roosevelt Island affordability for middle income and
working class people was the subject of this very interesting video by You
Black In The Core
showcasing what is described as:
Roosevelt Island Gentrification, Stealing