New York City: Roosevelt Island Walking Tour with Tram Ride

New York

2.5 hours

Explore the eclectic Roosevelt Island residential community in the East River and learn about New York City’s past on a walking tour. Take in scenic views of Manhattan from the Roosevelt Island Tram and from Roosevelt Island.

Highlights * Tram ride from Manhattan’s East Side to Roosevelt Island. * Learn about Cornell Technion’s history and computer engineering degree programs. * View the New York City and National Landmark Smallpox Hospital Ruins. * View the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park and FDR memorial sculpture. * Learn about the development of this planned residential community. * View The Octagon Apartments that was formerly the New York City Lunatic Asylum.


DAY 1 -

Tram Ride - Enjoy amazing views of the East River, The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and Roosevelt Island from the Roosevelt Island Tram. The first commuter Tram in the United States.

Smallpox Hospital -Learn about the history of Roosevelt Island and its original purpose to incarcerate the city’s criminals at Blackwell’s Penitentiary and to isolate “incurables” and Small Pox patients at the Smallpox Hospital.

Cornell Technion Campus - Learn about the city’s latest Graduate level Cornell Technion campus dedicated to the development of technological innovation and research to create start-up job creating companies. View the campus’s architecture and its unique and innovative flood resistant design.

Blackwell House – Walk by the Island’s colonial era farmhouse owned by the Blackwell family that has been restored to its original appearance.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park – Learn about the memorial sculpture and park to honor President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous Four Freedoms Speech in 1941.

Main Street – Walk through the Island’s planned “New Town” community to view the mixed income residential housing’s architecture, shopping, schools and recreational areas.

The Octagon Apartments - Site of the original location of the New York City Lunatic Asylum. Learn about the poor living conditions and mistreatment of patients by hospital staff during the late 19th Century.

The Girl Puzzle -The Nellie Bly Memorial Sculptures. Learn about the five sculptures honoring the major contributions of crusading Journalist Nellie Bly who went undercover to expose the mistreatment of the Women’s Lunatic Asylum’s patients prior to its closing in the early 1900s.

The Lighthouse – View the stone 49 Foot stone Lighthouse that was quarried by Penitentiary inmates and built by the City government in 1872 at the northern tip of the island. A New York City and National Landmark. Share your comments with the personal observations of the Tour Guide who is an Island resident regarding the major issues and challenges confronting the community.

Important information
What to bring : Comfortable shoes and Umbrella

Know before you go
Views of scenic points interest of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island and the East River from the Tram may be limited due to the high volume of passengers during weekday commuter rush hours and week-end visitors to Roosevelt Island.

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