Sunday, June 20, 2021

A New Short Film Unforgetten: Renwick Ruins Takes You Inside Roosevelt Island's Abandoned Smallpox Hospital, Take A Look - Friends Of The Ruin Proposes Renovating Ruin For A Public Health Memorial

According to Untapped Cities:

... Recently released is the new short film Unforgotten: Renwick Ruin by artist Aaron Asis, Untapped New York’s Artist in Residence. Asis and his team at Green Ghost Studios were given special access inside the abandoned structure and the film showcases perspectives of the Renwick ruin that are rarely seen by the public. We’ll be hosting a premiere of the film in our upcoming event, Unforgotten: The Renwick Ruin on July 15th, featuring Asis and Stephen Martin, Founder of Friends of the Ruin and the former Director of Design & Planning for FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy....

As reported last March:

Stephen Martin, who once worked as the director of design & planning for Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, recently began Friends of the Ruin, a non profit whose mission is to stabilize the Smallpox Hospital ruin and return the building, which has been fenced off for over seventy years, to Roosevelt Island in the form of public park space. The organization envisions a stabilized ruin, beautifully landscaped and open to the public, free of charge, year round.

According to Mr. Martin: 

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have been wonderfully supportive. Friends of the Ruin considers them partners in its mission. 

As part of an ongoing educational component to the organization's mission, Friends of the Ruin has been working with the Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design (WHSAD), a Brooklyn blue ribbon public high school focused on architectural drafting, design principles, and historic preservation. WHSAD students, under the instruction of historic preservation firm Walter B. Melvin Architects, have spent the past five years studying Roosevelt Island, James Renwick, Jr. (architect of the Smallpox Hospital), and the ruin. After months of design charettes, critiques, and mood-boarding, students will often envision a renewed ruin as public housing, a high end retail experience, or a weekend party space.

Friends of the Ruin welcomes the students' enthusiasm but hopes the building could be permanently stabilized and opened to the public as a wild, landscaped (and safe) gothic ruin. The building (our City's only landmark ruin) was once a hospital to fight a devastating epidemic and also served as a nursing school training New York's frontline health care workers. 

It is the nonprofit's goal that the Ruin will serve, in the form of public park space, to memorialize the science, medical advances, and frontline workers fighting viral and infectious disease, including COVID-19, SARS, HIV/AIDS and many other diseases. We believe it is hard to imagine a more fitting site for this than in our country's first hospital dedicated to the smallpox epidemic, and on the historically rich Roosevelt Island.

Click to visit website and more info from Friends Of The Ruin here.

Here's the March 16, 2021 presentation made by Friends of the Ruin Founder Stephen Martin to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors about proposed Public Health Memorial to be built at a renovated Smallpox Hospital.

RIOC Board Meeting - March 16, 2021 from Diva Communications on Vimeo.

More infor here about Friends Of The Ruin and Untapped Cities.