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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stabilizing Roosevelt Island's Renwick Ruins Before It Falls Down - Is That A Good Thing?

Renwick Ruins Restoration Video From NY Time City Room Blog

The NY Times City Room Blog visits Roosevelt Island's Spooky House, otherwise known as the Renwick Ruins, to view the progress made by RIOC and The Trust For The Public Land in keeping what some believe to be a haunted remnant of Roosevelt Island's eerie past from completely collapsing upon itself. The cost of the stabilization project is $4.5 million. According to the article:
...The freestanding granite, brick and rubblestone walls have been repointed. Even more noticeably, the first two of five steel framework towers have been erected within the walls. These towers will be connected to the old walls to help keep the remaining structure upright while permanent plans are drawn up for its reuse. The happiest discovery of the project was that the necessary bracing could be constructed entirely inside the picturesque walls, which are illuminated at night. There turned out to be no need for exterior scaffolding....
The Trust For Public Land's Andy Stone even envisions the possibility of a future performance space or seasonal cafe occupying a renovated Renwick Ruins though to make the Ruins safe for actual use will cost tens of millions of dollars more. Highly unlikely.

As long as the Renwick Ruins are standing it will always be cordoned off behind a chained fence preventing people from gaining access to it. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate whether preserving the Renwick Ruins is a good thing or if it would be better to acknowledge reality, knock it down and build a new performance space or cafe in its place.

Image of Renwick Ruins Behind Chain Link Fence from Press HD


RI 360 said...

If it was knocked down perhaps use the bricks to build any new structure or plaza erected on the site keeping what features they can for continuity.

I do believe its demolition would be a shame but as you say if it continues to attact curious who put their lives and PSD officers in danger, knowing the tens of millions needed to fully restore are unlikely, perhaps its demise is inevitable. Again a shame.

Anonymous said...

Southpoint Park is such prime real estate for a nice park, as cool as the Ruins are, it's time to use that entire space for a beautiful park much like Lighthouse Park.