Roosevelt Island Walk

A few shots of the Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island, designed by James Renwick, the same guy who designed Grace Church, where I sing. Renwick also designed the more famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He was quite the over-achiever, entering Columbia when he was only 12, and getting his first commission, Grace Church, when he was 25.

The stone used here, for the hospital, was Fordham gneiss, one of the oldest rock formations in the world. It was cut from quarries on the Island by convicts, some of whom probably ended up in the very structure they helped to build. Kinda like asking someone to dig their own grave. It is pretty though.

There was a lot of renovation going on a little north of here, in the location where I believe was the former penitentiary. I couldn’t get close, but from a distance I kept scanning the site for artifacts sticking out of the dirt, but I didn’t spot any.

Scroll down for a short movie I made of some geese.

Roosevelt Island Ruins

Roosevelt Island Ruins

Roosevelt Island Ruins

Sorry for the shaky cam in the beginning, as I walked up to them. There’s a little bit of drama at the end. Will he make it??

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “Roosevelt Island Walk

  1. Geese can be hilarious! Ottawa is on the migration route so we get them twice a year in huge numbers. They poop green ‘logs’ everywhere they hang out and it can get a bit annoying getting goose poo stuck on your shoes and bike tyres. I wonder if the one left behind might have figured out eventually that he could FLY over the fence! I think he would have had to get a running start.

  2. I have a vague memory of my mom hating all the geese that hung out near her house (which was near a pond). I thought, ‘How can one hate geese???’ But apparently she was not alone. I wouldn’t appreciate green poo all over the place either. I got the impression that her geese were aggressive in some way.

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