The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is one of the most tranquil parks in New York City. Opened to the public last year, thirty-eight years after it was originally conceived and designed by architect Louis I. Kahn, the park is an elegant sliver of land from which to contemplate the park’s primary message: the promotion of the universal right to four essential human freedoms as outlined by President Roosevelt in his State of the Union speech of 1941. This message is reflected in the view across the river by the United Nations complex and, more poignantly, the Freedom Tower.
I put together a slide show of my recent visit. It begins with the abandoned smallpox hospital that Kahn included in his original plans as a visitor center. What remains of the structure has been stabilized for now and, site feasibility and fundraising allowing, could become an integral part of the visitor experience in the future. Pictures of the park itself follow, as well as water views. Just click the first picture below to be taken into slideshow mode.
Watch FDR deliver his 1941 State of the Union speech here:
I plan to visit this park and Roosevelt Island again soon. Now is the time – the adjacent Cornell Tech Campus complex is due to open in 2017 and the influx of faculty, students, and visitors will change the day-to-day feeling of the Four Freedoms park. Finally, after 20 years of living in New York City, I admit to just discovering that the subway (F train) stops on Roosevelt Island. I share this embarrassing confession with you to underscore just how easy it is to visit this lovely park. Enjoy!