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Friday, October 19, 2012

Roosevelt Island Residents, Friends and Family Invited To Special Preview Of Kahn/FDR Four Freedoms Park Saturday October 20 - Check Out The Park With Elected Officials, Performance By Child School Chorus, And The Rules


Received the following invitation to Roosevelt Island residents from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Hi neighbor,

Four Freedoms Park is not open to the public yet, but because you're a resident of Roosevelt Island, you are invited to a special preview.

This Saturday, October 20, we're hosting an exclusive open house just for you. From 10 am to 3 pm, the Park will be open to residents of Roosevelt Island, as well as any friends and family you'd like to bring with you.

The speaking program begins at 11:30 am. We will be joined by:

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
State Senator Jose Serrano
Assembly Member Micah Kellner
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
Council Member Jessica Lappin
Council Member Dan Garodnick
Rabbi Leana Moritt

The Child School/Legacy High School Chorus will perform.

Join us on Saturday to celebrate the completion of the memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt at this exclusive event in advance of the public opening. For more details, please see the formal invitation below.

To prepare for your visit, explore our new website and learn about Park architect Louis I. Khan and the Park's thirty-nine year history.

http://fdrfourfreedomspark.org/explore-the-website ( http://fdrfourfreedomspark.org/page/m/6381b36e/732e814/4793ae3d/3345f22b/3060663422/VEsE/ )

We look forward to seeing you Saturday.

Sincerely,

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
I asked RIOC:
Was the PS/IS 217 chorus invited to perform at this event?

If not, why was the Child School chorus selected to perform instead of a local Roosevelt Island Public School made up of local Roosevelt Island kids?

Any reason why both could not perform?

Thank you.
RIOC's Press Spokesperson replied:
RIOC had no involvement with creating the program for Saturday's event.
I asked Four Freedoms Park for a comment but have not heard back yet. Will include any reply later as an update.

According to the FDR Four Freedoms Park,

Image Of FDR Four Freedoms Park Facing United Nations And East Side Waterfront

here are the rules for the Park:
Park Rules

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is a Presidential memorial. We ask you to follow these rules to preserve the sanctity of this place. To keep the memorial clean for all to enjoy, please carry out what you carry in. Thank you for honoring this shared public space.

Not allowed:

Bicycles, roller skates, recreational scooters, or skateboards
Dogs or other pets
Climbing embankments, walls, or trees
Possessing or consuming alcohol
Smoking
Littering
Glass containers
Amplified sound
Panhandling or solicitation
Commercial activity
Obstructing entrances or walkways
Fishing
Feeding wildlife
and some more scenes from the October 17 Big Wig Dedication Ceremony.



The FDR Four Freedoms Park is scheduled to open to the public on Wednesday October 24.

UPDATE 5:45 PM - Received this response from Four Freedoms Park Conservancy:
The Child School Chorus is the only local group performing tomorrow. They offered to participate and we accepted.

We look forward to collaborating with the principal of PS/IS public school
and her students in the future.

36 comments :

YetAnotherRIer said...

Rick, you seem to be warming up to the FDR memorial. I haven't seen you call it Bondoogle for quite a while now, especially since the opening. You had so many great opportunities to do so.


Why did you ask if PS/IS 217 was invited to perform? Does the school actually have a choir?

RooseveltIslander said...

I did not reference boondoggle in the FDR Dedication posts because, as much as possible, I wanted to keep an open mind while experiencing the site. Also,since I was invited to cover the event as a member of the Press, I thought it was appropriate to keep my personal opinions out of these posts.

After viewing the completed site, I am certainly not warming up to it. I continue to believe that this design belongs with other Memorials in Washington DC or a much larger location such as Governors Island rather than a residential neighborhood like Roosevelt Island which needs as many real recreational "Parks" as possible.

In my view, I would much rather the southern tip of Roosevelt Island look like Socrates Sculpture Park, LIC's Gantry State Park, Williamsburg's East River Park or Dumbo's Brooklyn Bridge Park than the Kahn Boondoggle.

As to the chorus, several people commented to me that they were disappointed that the nationally recognized PS 22 chorus was invited to perform at Wednesday's Dedication but the local PS/IS 217 students were not invited to perform. When I saw the program for Saturday did not include the local Public School either, I just asked a question.

I was not implying anything regarding Mr. Ferrera.

Westviewer said...

Here is a more sophisticated critique of the FDR Memorial than we are used to seeing on the blog:
http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/inga_saffron/20121017_Changing_Skyline__A_posthumous_New_York_project_preserves_architect_Louis_Kahn_s_legacy.html

Westviewer said...

Re: Socrates Sculpture Park, LIC's Gantry State Park, Williamsburg's East River Park or Dumbo's Brooklyn Bridge Park - those places already exist. I'm glad -- and I know I'm not the only one -- that we finally have something of distinction on the island, worthy of keeping company with our 19th century landmarks. The memorial is in NEW YORK CITY, on ROOSEVELT Island. There is no more appropriate place for it.

RooseveltIslander said...

Vicki Feinmel asked that I post this comment from her.
"I just read the rules of the Four Freedoms Park. There are no dogs or bike riding allowed long with many other rules of Don'ts.


I'm not aware of any other park that doesn't allow dogs or bike riding. Isn't that what parks are supposed to be about.

Finally, let's start calling this what it is. This is a Memorial, from day one this was a Memorial but you were all sold on a park.

CheshireKitty said...

It is more a memorial than a park - and as such probably will be a place for respectful quiet visits, similar to the effect produced by the Greek temple-like Lincoln Memorial or Jefferson Memorial, or the movingly simple but immensely powerful grave-site of JFK at Arlington National Cemetery. Could anyone possibly imagine allowing dogs near the JFK grave-site, or even into Arlington in general? Although FDR is not entombed at our 4 Freedoms Park, it is, similar to the JFK grave-site, a shrine to FDR's words and spirit.

RooseveltIslander said...

Resident Joyce Mincheff asked me to post this comment for her.

"You can't have it both ways. You can't build a monument that was specifically designed to direct your view North and South, by eliminating the views East and West, and claim that you have not destroyed one of the most awe inspiring 360 degree views of NY City. The fear of many Roosevelt Islanders has been realized. We had hoped to share that view with the world. It was uplifting and awe-inspiring. It would have been a more fitting tribute to a leader who truly had a world vision.

Even in the photo of the room that appears on the introductory page of the memorial's website, the photographer strained to stand at the most remote corner of "the room" in order to incorporate the United Nations building in the photo. It is lost to you while you advance through the chamber.

Islanders complained that the trees in the renderings were so dense that the sight lines would be eliminated. They were correct. Despite the developer's claims that they would change that, the positioning of the dense double line of surrounding foliage will completely obliterate the view.

But the real irony of the monument is that the state's new testament to the glory of democratic principles is built on an Island that is governed without democracy. Roosevelt Island is governed as a Public Benefit Corporation. The Directors on its Board, who promulgate the rules and regs that 14,000 residents live by, are appointed by the Governor, not elected by the residents. It is similar to the concept of a "colony" where our Governor, Andrew Cuomo, determines who serves, and he can remove each of them "at his pleasure."

And he has, granting appointment as political favor and even recently removing a Director who was favored by the community. Every Director is hemmed-in by concern over dismissal and walks a tight-rope to stand behind their principles without getting themselves dismissed.

Until Roosevelt Island's local government is democratically elected, the Roosevelt Memorial serves as the height of hypocrisy. It underscores that democracy, even in our nation where the constitution is supposed to protect our rights, and at a location where we pay homage to one of the most stalwart champions of democracy, the State of NY and the Governor of the State of NY denies democracy to its citizens."

The image is the one described by Ms. Mincheff from FDR Four Freedoms web site linked above.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Really? I mean, really?

YetAnotherRIer said...

Biking is rarely allowed in most parks. Well, dogs, we can argue about that. As Kitty said, this is not really a park and more a memorial. No idea why anybody got the idea it would be a park.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"To be precise, we have the same amount of "democracy" on Roosevelt Island as other citizens of the City and State, but what we need is more informed decision-making in RIOC [...]"


I 100% agree with your statement and opinion here.

CheshireKitty said...

Very true, YetAnotherRIer. Also, for all the screaming of the anti-Ferrera activists, do any of them think Hudson-Related would have acted any differently in leasing the second floor of 504 to the Child School if Ferrera had not been appointed a Board member? It was the anti-Ferrara activists' darling Kalkin who came up with the brilliant idea of turning over the leasing of Main St properties to Hudson under a Master Lease. This lets Hudson lease space to whoever is welling to pay rent and operate a business on Main St, and the RIOC Board, whether or not they are actually elected, resident, or non-resident, from RI, Brooklyn, or from anywhere in the metro area, is no longer involved in leasing decisions! I disagree with the decision to rent the second floor of 504 to the Child School and believe that it, like the first floor of 504, should have been set aside for the NYPL, with meeting rooms on the second floor that could also be available for community use. But I do not see the Ferrera appointment leading to the Hudson leasing decision - that decision was made by Hudson on the basis of finding a business (The Child School) that wished to lease the space. Moreover, Ferrara, for all the vilification he has endured by the anti-Ferrara activists, has actually cooperated with various requests by the community for the use of his facilities on a number of occasions. If the anti-Ferrara activists can point to an actual example of a negative impact stemming from Ferrara's appointment to the RIOC Board, they should share it with us. As far as I can tell, there has been no negative impact (so far): Even though the biggest negative from the adoption of the Master Lease, Kalkin's brainchild, has been the leasing of the second floor of 504 to The Child School instead of keeping aside the entire 504 space for the NYPL does anyone think this would not have happened had Ferrara not been appointed a RIOC director?

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