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Monday, March 11, 2013

Goldwater Hospital Walls Tell Their Story With Help From Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy During Talk Tomorrow At Public Library - What Will Happen To The Displaced Patients?

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy will be giving a talk on the history of Goldwater Hospital

tomorrow 6:30 PM at the Roosevelt Island Public Library.  According to the RIHS:

Seemingly a fortress, Goldwater's fierce exterior belies its history as a center of innovation. Historian Judith Berdy will recount little-known aspects of Goldwater Hospital's past, such as several notable experiments in medical care and the integration of the disabled in a residential setting, in a lecture sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, of which she is President, at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, on Tuesday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Even in its architectural design, Goldwater is notable for its open and airy layout, incorporating community space with individual patient rooms for its long-term residents. In the 1930s, several recreational rooms were painted by artists through a program sponsored by the Works Progress Administration. Sadly, three of the four murals were painted over and it is hoped that Cornell University will remove and restore them. The fourth mural has been restored and is visible today.

In addition to serving as a home to more than 1,000 residents, Goldwater has also gained cinematic fame as the setting for numerous films. The Exorcist, Cold Souls and the remake of Arthur were all set at the hospital.

The lecture is both a celebration of Goldwater Hospital, which has led the way in treatment of patients with tuberculosis, polio, AIDS, and other long-term chronic diseases, plus a farewell. The hospital is scheduled to close in December 2013.

The event is FREE and open to the public. It is the second in a series of spring lectures sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.
More information on the WPA Mural program at Goldwater available

Abstraction by Ilya Bolotowsky* WPA Mural Restored at Goldwater Hospital - Image from RIHS

at American Abstract Artists:
The WPA/FAP hired Ilya Bolotowsky to create a mural, Abstraction 1941, for the Day Room of the Hospital for Chronic Diseases on Welfare Island in New York City. The hospital was later renamed Goldwater Memorial Hospital, and is now called Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility, on what is now Roosevelt Island. Ilya Bolotowsky’s mural fell victim to neglect and was painted over in the 1950s....
The Ilya Bolotowsky Mural at Goldwater Hospital has been restored.

Goldwater Hospital is scheduled to close in December 2013 to make way for the new Cornell NYC Tech Applied Sciences and Engineering School. As previously reported:
... the closing of Goldwater Hospital was planned for a long time and had nothing to do with the NYC Applied Sciences and Engineering School being located on Roosevelt Island....
Gothamist has more on the Goldwater patients being displaced by the closing of the hospital and what is happening to them.

According to Gothamist:
... Most patients at the facility have no income and are supported through Medicaid. They have no say in their future and there is little else they can do but wait to be relocated. "Some of the patients will end up at a new facility in Harlem, some may end up at Coler," Hern├índez, the hospital spokeswoman said. "We have staff who are working with the individual patients to make sure that people end up in a placement that's appropriate for them…the process is ongoing." The new $285 million, 365-bed facility in Harlem, named the Henry J. Carter Campus, will be located in two separate buildings and is set to open by the end of the year. "The residents will be provided with orientation to the new facility and to the new community they'll be joining," Hern├índez said. "Our patients have been well cared for in Roosevelt Island and they'll be well cared for in Harlem."...
Click here for the entire Gothamist article.