Why is this building significant?
Standing in close proximity to 1970s housing, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park, and the new campus of Cornell Tech, the Small Pox Hospital recalls a time during the 19th and early 20th centuries when the dominance of institutions serving the infirmed, the indigent, and the incarcerated gave rise to the name Welfare Island. (The name was officially changed to Roosevelt Island in the 1970s.) The Gothic Revival Small Pox Hospital is faced in granite arranged in a random pattern and incorporates a crenellated parapet wall supported by corbels and a hipped roof. The picturesque ruin has served as a filming location for several movies.
What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?
We championed the stabilization of the ruin and helped convince the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation to perform partial stabilization of the structure. Later, we provided a $17,000 grant to the nearby Four Freedoms Park to hire an engineering firm to plan additional stabilization work.