Sonntag, November 14, 2010

Roosevelt Island - Welfare Island - Blackwell Island

Roosevelt Island Tram bei Nacht, ungefähr 2007

A documentary of Roosevelt Island that includes a brief ride on the Tram and commentary by RI residents. (1980)

Welfare Island: Blight of a City
Located in New York City's East River is Roosevelt Island, previously known as Welfare Island.

The island was home to the city's poorhouse, mental and smallpox hospitals.
Now it houses those people affluent enough to live in an area contiguous to midtown Manhattan.
This short documentary, filmed in 1966, shows the island as it was. Much of the southern part of the island remains in this terrible condition.
Plans are underway to create a memorial to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the island.
Rights to the film, and its (excellent condition) original Ektachrome 16mm A&B Rolls are available for sale.

Blackwell's Island, New York 1903
Photographed May 9, 1903.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Location: East River, New York
Camera: Edwin S. Porter

Roosevelt Island
An island in the East River, equidistant between the Upper East Side of Manhattan (51st Street to 86th Street) and Long Island City in Queens. It is about 800 feet (240 meters) wide and 1.75 miles (2.8 kilometers) long. The island was called Minnehanonck by the Indians and Varcken Eylandt by the Dutch.
- (excerpt) Ellen Fletcher / Encyclopedia of New York City - Edited by Kenneth T. Jackson

This film was photographed from a boat heading south along the eastern shore of Blackwell's Island known as Welfare Island from 1921 to 1973, and as Roosevelt Island today. The island lies in the East River, between Manhattan (which can be seen in the background) and Long Island City, Queens. It is approximately one and three-quarters of a mile long, extending from 51st Street to 88th, and at the time of the filming was the location for a number of New York City's charitable and penal institutions. The film opens showing the lighthouse at the north end of the island (Hallet's Cove). As the boat enters the east channel of the river, the stacks of a large brewery in Yorkville on Manhattan are visible in the distance. This is possibly George Ehret's Hell Gate Lager Bier Brewery (1866). This area was mostly settled by the immigrant German's as the city's population moved north. The camera pans along the island's granite seawall (built by inmates of the Penitentiary and Workhouse) and the following buildings, in order of appearance, are seen: the New York City Lunatic Asylum [0:39]; the Workhouse; the Almshouse [0:45]; piers for the Queensboro or '59th Street' Bridge still under construction, which upon completion in 1908 will span 135 feet above the island [1:20]; the Almshouse Keeper's House (originally the home of the Blackwell family, who had once owned the island) [1:30]; the Penitentiary [1:45]; Charity Hospital [1:55]. The film ends before reaching the southern tip of the island.

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