Friday, October 7, 2016

There Once Was A Stairway To Roosevelt Island From Queensboro Bridge, Take A Look - When It Was Welfare Island

At one time, there was a stairway from the Queensboro Bridge to Roosevelt Island, then Welfare Island. The Twitterverse gives us a glimpse of that stairway.

As reported in October 2015:
From 1919 to 1955 there was vehicle and pedestrian access from the Queensboro Bridge to Roosevelt (then Welfare) Island. According to Neil Tandon writing for the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS):
... The Elevator Storehouse, opened in 1919, housed an elevator that transported cars and people from the Queensboro Bridge down to the present-day Tramway Plaza. In addition, it contained storage space and a reception ward for the island's Metropolitan Hospital. The building, whose main lobby was on its top floor, was nicknamed the upside-down building and was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not for its peculiar design. With the opening of the Welfare Island Bridge, the building closed in 1955 and was demolished in 1970....
 Image Of Elevator Storehous Ramp To Queensboro Bridge  From Judy Berdy Roosevelt Island Historical Society

Image of Elevator Storehous From Greater Astoria Historical Society
UPDATE 10/9 - I asked Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy:
Was there once a stairway from Welfare Island to Queensboro Bridge?

I know there was an elevator.
Ms Berdy replied:
There was the storehouse building that had 5 or 6 elevators which were for vehicles, including a fire truck and heavy trucks that delivered to the institutions on the island. There were a few elevators for pedestrians and those arriving and departing on the trolleys used.

The only stairs that I know of were at First Avenue and at Vernon Blvd. leading to the upper level which was originally for pedestrians. There were 4 towers and each also had an elevator.

The massive helix was never built, but it would have been fun for skateboarders.

This is about Benjamin Levitan, the Elevator Storehouse architect.
and Normandeau Newswire tweets:
UPDATE 10/18 - Frank Farance tweets:
and comments here.