Exploring Roosevelt Island, From Abandoned Laboratories to Landmarked Ruins
You’ve probably seen the red tram shuttling back and forth to Roosevelt Island, but how much do you really know about this two-mile-long piece of land wedged between Manhattan and Queens?
Led by historian Kevin Draper, our unique experience will include:
- An overview of Roosevelt Island and why it was once called Minnehanonck by the Native Americans, Hog Island by the Dutch, Blackwell Island by the English, and Welfare Island by the city
- A visit to several historic sites including the Chapel of the Good Shepherd (1888) and the Blackwell House, a 1796 dutch farmhouse that is NYC’s 6th oldest landmark
- A look at the FDR Four Freedoms Park, Smallpox Hospital (NYC’s only landmarked ruin), and abandoned Strecker Laboratory (the first institution in the nation for pathological and bacteriological research)
- A discussion around the newly built Cornell University campus and future redevelopment plans for the island
See you there!
*Please bring a water bottle and comfortable pair of shoes as we’ll be doing a lot of walking!
**Please note that Kevin maintains a moderately fast walking pace throughout the tour
***This tour does not go inside any abandoned buildings
****Since our tour starts in Manhattan, a MetroCard swipe will be needed to ride the tram. Guests may also meet the group on Roosevelt Island if more convenient (see confirmation email for more details)
“I am a New York City Historian, experienced licensed guide, and co-founder and director of
“You’ll discover how New York evolved from humble beginnings to attract the millions who came for generations in search of their dreams, to become a city most often referred to today as the “Capital of the World”. You can be assured you have a professional guide able to answer your questions, engage with your group, enlighten and inspire you as you discover the best the city has to offer.”
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Categories: Tours, Active, Historic Sites, Arts