Friday, September 27, 2013


I took a grown up field trip yesterday, an excursion that began with a luxury bus ride and ended with lunch at NYC club, there was not a rowdy kid or PBJ sandwich or in sight. I was invited to visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island by a dear friend on the Tree Trust Committee of the Central Park Conservancy.  The Tree Trust is one of the many arms of the Conservancy and works to raise funds to care for the parks 22,000 trees by offering the endowment of a tree or sapling for a special occasion.  It's a fantastic gift idea for milestone birthdays or anniversary that supports an amazing program within the Conservancy, and who wouldn't want their own tree in Central Park?
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-

  1. Freedom of Speech and Expression – the best defense against the corruption of democracy.
  2. Freedom of Worship – our shield against the forces of bigotry, intolerance and fanaticism.
  3. Freedom from Want – so that hunger, poverty and pestilence can be erased from the earth.
  4. Freedom from Fear – calling for international institutions and agreements that will keep the peace, control armaments, prevent aggression, accept the Rule of Law, and assure social justice.
The focal point of the Park is a 1,050-pound bronze bust of President Roosevelt. 
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.
  1. The Park's lawn is flanked on either side by 120 linden trees set in perfectly aligned allées.
    The park is extraordinary; an austere, beautiful monument tucked into the NYC landscape and a great trip for the entire family.


Lauren said...

These photos are amazing! It looks like you are having a wonderful time!


Ann said...

Wonderful pics
and thanks for sharing some facts about this beautiful park.

miss b said...

An interesting post. I haven't heard of this park before but it looks well worth a visit. Your photos are beautiful and those linden trees are magnificent.

therelishedroost said...

THat is great, thanks so much for sharing that I was wondering what that was like! Now I know, really great!

michele said...

love it and now i must go!


Karen said...

I hadn't heard of this park. What a lovely place to visit. Thanks for enlightening me.

The enchanted home said...

Hi Barbara!! Hope alls well..what a fun day and so interesting, I have to admit I did not know it existed so thanks for the intro!

Francine Gardner said...

I have seen the park from afar but never visited. thank you for bringing it to our attention, it is spectacular, I love the modernity of the landscape.