Roosevelt Island

Architecture, Green Design, Roosevelt Island

The first building of Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus officially opened on Wednesday, set to be the first net-zero university building in New York City. Known as the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center, named after former Mayor Michael Bloomberg who donated $100 million for the project, the four-story 160,000-square foot academic building will be the intellectual nerve center of Cornell Tech. Designed by Morphosis Architects, the building has a photovoltaic canopy and an aluminum-paneled facade.

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Roosevelt Island, Transportation, Urban Design

Roosevelt Island, the mile-long neighborhood that lies in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, will be a stop on the NYC Ferry route that connects Astoria to Wall Street beginning in August. While this will ease access to other parts of the city for residents of the island, French architect Victor Ostojic has another idea. As Curbed reported, Ostojic published a conceptual proposal of a cantilevered glass-covered ferry terminal on the western side of the island. Located parallel to Manhattan’s East 63rd Street, the terminal would include ground-floor retail, a food court, office space and a luxury hotel on top.

See renderings of the transit hub

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Features, History, Roosevelt Island, Transportation

The History of the Roosevelt Island Tramway

By Rebecca Paul, Tue, May 17, 2016

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In honor of the Roosevelt Island Tramway’s 40th anniversary today, we’ve pulled this wonderful piece on the history of the high-flying gondola system from our archives.

Commuting in New York City, whether for work or pleasure, is rarely an enjoyable experience. However, for some tourists and lucky city dwellers, the Roosevelt Island Tramway provides a delightful, high-flying travel alternative to the standard, and sometimes miserable, modes of NYC public transport. Running across the East River, this aerial tramway brings commuters to and from Roosevelt Island and Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has carried over 26 million passengers since opening in 1976. It is one of the few forms of mass transit in New York City not operated by the MTA, but it still costs the same as the bus or subway and can be paid for with your NYC metro card. Like most things in our historic port town, both the tramway and the commute between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island has a history, and this one includes bridge elevators, high-rise rescue missions and French ski lifts.

More on how the Roosevelt Island tramway came to be

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Features, History, Landscape Architecture, Roosevelt Island, Starchitecture

FDR Four Freedoms Park, roosevelt island, park roosevelt island, louis kahn

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedom’s Park may have opened relatively recently in 2012, but architect Louis Kahn was brewing up the design for the memorial park nearly 40 years earlier. Kahn’s death in 1974 (a somewhat tragic one which left him dead and alone in a Penn Station bathroom after a heart attack) was unfortunately accented by a dwindling reputation — Kahn’s sordid multi-family affairs had come to light upon his passing and his fading architecture practice was loaded with debt. But beyond all the scandal, Kahn also left behind a number of sketchbooks packed with complete sets of unrealized projects. One of these projects was the Four Freedom’s Park.

While plenty of accolades have been given to successful realization of the project so far after Kahn’s death, few have tracked where the architect may have pulled his inspiration for the design. That is until now. As a number of Kahn’s sketches emerge for public viewing, some are asking: Was the the design of Louis Kahn’s Four Freedom’s Park inspired by the Eye of Providence found on the U.S. dollar bill?

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