Back to our visit. Four Freedoms Park began in the late 1960s, during a period of national urban renewal, when New York City Mayor John Lindsay proposed to reinvent Roosevelt Island (then called Welfare Island) into a vibrant, residential community. Louis I. Kahn, one of the masters of 20th century architecture was chosen to design the park and memorial to Roosevelt. Louis Kahn finished his work and died unexpectedly and NYC faced bankruptcy causing the project to be sidelined. Nothing happened for decades but finally on March 29, 2010, 38 years after its announcement, construction of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park began.The Park celebrates the Four Freedoms, as pronounced in President Roosevelt’s famous January 6, 1941 State of the Union speech. The words appear on a massive block of granite-
Mounted in the sculpture niche, with the Four Freedoms engraved on its south-facing side, the bust stands sentinel at the entrance of what Kahn called the “Room”, a 60’ square open plaza of granite that looks out across the East River to the United Nations.