Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting on Louis Kahn/FDR Memorial 3/25/08 - What Impact Will Governor Spitzer's Resignation Have?
A Roosevelt Island Town Hall meeting on the proposed $40 million Louis Kahn/FDR memorial to be located on 3 acres at the southern tip of Southpoint Park, Roosevelt Island is scheduled for 7 PM on Tuesday, March 25 at Good Shepherd Community Center. Supporters of this memorial to Louis Kahn, (the supporters claim it is a memorial to FDR but in reality it is really a memorial to the architect Louis Kahn) are now seeking $20 million in taxpayer funds after failing to raise the necessary financing through private sources for the last 35 years.
What impact Governor Spitzer resignation will have on the outcome of this issue nobody knows. Spitzer's letter in support of the Kahn/FDR memorial is largely responsible for reviving this project from it's deathbed where it had been placed by the previous RIOC and NY State administration so his removal from the scene may have a significant impact. We will have to wait and see what the position of Governor David Patterson will be on this issue though he did compare lobbyist to prostitutes at a news conference yesterday which may show an affinity towards the concerns of local neighborhoods. Today's NY Sun has an article as to what his appointment could mean to Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards development and the issue of eminent domain. I am sure though that at this moment Southpoint Park is not on his top priority list which may indefinitely postpone any go decision on the Kahn memorial until it is too late due to construction of Phase 1 of Southpoint Park which is scheduled to begin this summer or fall. We should only be so lucky.
Another new wrinkle in this ongoing saga is the 1974 legal memorandum that supporters of the Kahn design have claimed legally binds RIOC to it's development if the necessary funds are raised. Well, it was learned this week that this agreement for the disposition of RIOC property is for an indefinite duration of time and was conditioned upon the payment of $2 million by the City and State which was never paid. How the failure by the City and State to perform a material provision of this agreement impacts the ultimate outcome is also unknown. RIOC President Shane said of this:
The City &/or State failure on the $2 million doesn't appear relevantMr.Shane provides some more information on the importance of this meeting:
to me. But that's my personal opinion, not a considered and certainly
not a researched opinion. Rather than grasp at legalities at this
moment, I suggest that the process be allowed to play out. Might also
take a look at the editorial in Crain's this week on Greenwich Village.
Once you define the discussion as being only relevant to Roosevelt
Islanders, you have preset the result.
Please publicize the Town Hall Meeting so as to attract the largest crowd possible. If the views of the Island's residents are to be considered, their broadest possible involvement is much to be desired. Turn out matters. The only way to validate a survey is by having a statistically supportable sample. The greater the number, the lower the margin for error and the more reliable the result.It is extremely important if Roosevelt Islanders want to enjoy unobstructed, beautiful East River waterfront, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens skyline views and the Trust for Public Lands Wild Gardens/Green Rooms design for Southpoint Park that you attend this Town Hall meeting.
The view as currently exists from Southpoint Park.
Click on this link for the full beautiful panoramic effect.
Here is a You Tube video with a 360 degree view from Southpoint Park.
APOLOGIES - 3/15: SINCE LAST NIGHT, FOR SOME REASON THE 360 DEGREE SOUTHPOINT PARK YOU TUBE VIDEO IS NOT WORKING. 3/16 VIDEO IS NOW WORKING.
Here is another 360 degree You Tube video of Southpoint Park. Hopefully, this video will remain available.
Now take a look at the proposed Louis Kahn project.
The Louis Kahn design envisions:
V-shaped promenades leading to an open space with granite walls, framing views to the south and west of the river and Manhattan towers, including the U.N. complex.It is precisely the intended "framing views" of the design which destroys the open panoramic beauty of the East River waterfront and New York City skyline views that currently exists at Southpoint Park and is the reason why the Louis Kahn project must not be built at the proposed site.
It is an indisputable fact that the one-of-a-kind, awesome and beautiful, panoramic views of the East River waterfront and Brooklyn/Queens/Manhattan skyline pictured above that are currently available from any spot at the southern end of Southpoint Park will be blocked and lost forever by the construction and placement of the proposed Louis Kahn/FDR concrete and granite memorial at the tip of Southpoint Park.
Here's Roosevelt Island 360's take on the potential for lost views at Southpoint Park and announcement of tomorrow night's meeting.
For more information take a look at these sources:
Roosevelt Island 360,
Trust for the Public Land Southpoint Park Conceptual Plans,
Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute,
Main Street WIRE presentation of TPL Plan and
1974 Memorandum of Understanding concerning Louis Kahn/FDR memorial at Southpoint Park.