Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Southpoint Park Hours and Renwick Ruins Lighting Schedule - Let's Go For A Visit, If You Dare!

Image of Renwick Ruins Lit Up from the Weblicist of Manhattan

A longtime reader and former Roosevelt Island resident asks the following question:
Do you know until what time Southpoint Park is open at night during this time of year, especially during the weekend? And do you know until what time the Renwick Ruins are lit in the evening? I don't want to make a visit and find myself locked out!
Many thanks for any information. By the way, this might be the sort of useful piece of information worth posting on your blog. (I looked around and couldn't find anything about it there.)
According to RIOC, during the winter Southpoint Park opens at 8 AM and closes at 6:30 PM - operating times for the rest of the year at Southpoint Park are available here though the Park is scheduled for renovations of its northern portion with the Green Rooms/Wild Gardens design by the Trust For the Public Land shortly after the Fourth of July. Hopefully, by that time, the Kahn/FDR Memorial Boondoggle proposed for the southern section of Southpoint Park will be dead, buried and forgotten.

As to the timing of the Renwick Ruins Lights, RIOC President Steve Shane advises that:
Lights are dusk until approx 10:30
According to Roosevelt Island 360:
The night time lighting of the former smallpox hospital, on Roosevelt Island, started as a party favor from Arnold Scaasi, a Sutton Place resident, to his guests. It was then later picked up as a treat from an island based group to the larger city as a reminder that "we're part of the City".
This 1993 NY Times article has more on the Renwick Lights:
... The Friends of Roosevelt Island Landmarks, a nonprofit group, is sponsoring the lighting. E. M. Freeman, a member of the group's board, said, "We like to think of it as a holiday gift to our neighbors on the mainland -- and a reminder that we're part of the city."

Mr. Scaasi and Kitty Carlisle Hart, head of the New York State Council on the Arts, have organized to raise funds for the permanent lighting of the Smallpox Hospital.

"I love the way the ruin looks in the daytime, like a 19th-century Spanish city hall," said Mr. Scaasi, who lives on Beekman Place. "But at night it is just a big black patch in the middle of the river."...
The Weblicist of Manhattan has some great eerie photos of the Renwick Ruins glowing at night and a reader shares childhood memories of driving past the glowing Renwick "Spooky House". Also, another reader thinks the Renwick Ruins are Haunted!