Roosevelt Island Operating Corp
(RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM tomorrow, March 16, via video

You can watch the Board meeting here
and ask questions or share concerns about Roosevelt Island during the opening
Public Session before the start of the meeting.
Sign up to speak here. 

It’s unlikely any RIOC Board Directors will respond to you during the Public
Session but on occasion, some may address your issue during the offical

Here’s the

Among the items on the Agenda are:

3. Presentation
“The Smallpox Hospital Ruin a Physical and Digital Memorial” by Friends of the
Ruin Organization


Authorization to Enter
into Contract with Vanguard Construction & Development Co. Inc. for
Sportspark Renovation Project (Board Action Required)

Stephen Martin, who once worked
as the director of design & planning for
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, recently began
Friends of the Ruin, a
non profit whose mission is to stabilize the Smallpox Hospital ruin and return
the building, which has been fenced off for over seventy years, to Roosevelt
Island in the form of public park space. The organization envisions a
stabilized ruin, beautifully landscaped and open to the public, free of
charge, year round.

According to Mr. Martin: 

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society, the Roosevelt Island Operating
Corporation, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Preservation have been wonderfully supportive. Friends of the Ruin considers
them partners in its mission. 

As part of an ongoing educational component to the organization’s mission,
Friends of the Ruin has been working with the Williamsburg High School for
Architecture and Design (WHSAD), a Brooklyn blue ribbon public high school
focused on architectural drafting, design principles, and historic
preservation. WHSAD students, under the instruction of historic preservation
firm Walter B. Melvin Architects, have spent the past five years studying
Roosevelt Island, James Renwick, Jr. (architect of the Smallpox Hospital),
and the ruin. After months of design charettes, critiques, and
mood-boarding, students will often envision a renewed ruin as public
housing, a high end retail experience, or a weekend party space.

Friends of the Ruin welcomes the students’ enthusiasm but hopes the building
could be permanently stabilized and opened to the public as a wild,
landscaped (and safe) gothic ruin. The building (our City’s only landmark
ruin) was once a hospital to fight a devastating epidemic and also served as
a nursing school training New York’s frontline health care workers. 

It is the nonprofit’s goal that the Ruin will serve, in the form of public
park space, to memorialize the science, medical advances, and frontline
workers fighting viral and infectious disease, including COVID-19, SARS,
HIV/AIDS and many other diseases. We believe it is hard to imagine a more
fitting site for this than in our country’s first hospital dedicated to the
smallpox epidemic, and on the historically rich Roosevelt Island.

Click to visit website and more info from
Friends Of The Ruin here.


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