An article in the NY Sun describes various plans for the re-development of Governor's Island but warns against following the same path as that taken for Roosevelt Island.
Concerning Roosevelt Island:
Consider that Roosevelt Island is only a stone's throw from Manhattan and Queens. And yet, to visit the place, something that most tourists and most inhabitants of the five boroughs seldom do, is to travel back in time — specifically to the 1970s, when the island, for better or worse, was extensively reconceived.And providing a cautionary tale for developing Governor's Island:
Even if the parkland is successfully achieved, and even if the development of other parts of the island prove as extensive as many in the real estate community now hope, great care must be given that the island not be — literally — isolated from the rest of the city. This is the fate that has largely condemned Roosevelt Island to the status of a backwater, despite its being far closer to Manhattan and Queens than Governors Island is to Brooklyn or anywhere else.This sums up many of the problems encountered on Roosevelt Island - being thought of as a backwater. Out of sight out of mind.
Maybe supporters of Governor's Island development would like the honor of being the site for the Louis Kahn's memorial. In fact, a memorial based upon FDR's Four Freedom's speech (here is transcript and audio) is far more appropriate at a location facing downtown Manhattan and the World Trade Center/Freedom Tower site than on Roosevelt Island where it is not wanted and detracts from a real, green, waterfront park. A memorial to FDR, who overcame many health difficulties, on Governor's Island would also be a fitting tribute that complements Mayor Bloomberg's International Public Health Center proposal for Governors Island.
Roosevelt Island would be glad to cede the Louis Kahn Memorial to Governor's Island. To paraphrase the great, all knowing and wise Henny Youngman - Take the Louis Kahn memorial ... PLEASE!
Image is from the Governor's Island Preservation and Education Corporation.