Roosevelt Island: Where the Past Meets the Present and Future

Janes Walk

Led By Donna Hrusovsky AND Michael Brady

Stretching back to 1637, we will explore the diverse history of the island and traverse the southern half of this former “haven” for hogs, and discuss its myriad changes over the years, both in name and in architecture.

Along the way, we’ll visit the old and the new, including Blackwell House, the island’s oldest structure circa 1796; the island’s infamous Smallpox Hospital, NYC’s only landmarked ruin; the Strecker Laboratory, the nation’s first pathological and bacteriological research institution; FDR Four Freedoms Park and the FDR Hope Memorial; the Cornell Tech Campus; and the brand new Graduate Hotel that boasts a one-of-a-kind concierge desk comprised of remnants from the former NYC Lunatic Asylum, as well as some of the best views of Manhattan and Queens from its unique, rooftop vantage point in the middle of the East River.


Wear your comfiest sneakers! We will be walking on approx. 2 miles of flat surface, with optional stairs leading up to FDR Four Freedoms Park vs. a flat promenade that is more easily accessible. There are also several steps leading up to Blackwell House. Participants can access the island by the Roosevelt Island tram located at 2nd Ave. and 59th St., or take the F train to the Roosevelt Island stop. NYC Ferry service is also available via the Astoria route, from East 90th Street and Wall Street. Then it’s a quick walk from the ferry dock, past the Tramway Station, to the big, red RI sign.”

Location Information

RSVP is required and capacity is limited. Meeting location, ending location, and directions will be provided via email before walk date.


Sunday, May 7, 2023
11:00 AM
Greater than 1 hour

Borough: Manhattan
Theme: Art & Architecture, History & Culture
Language: English
Ruins of the smallpox hospital located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Skemez1. Modifications: photo cropped.