by Neil Tandon for the Roosevelt Island Historical Society©
NORTHTOWN PHASE I
You are walking north through Northtown Phase I, as this portion of Roosevelt Island was called during its residential development stages. (Northtown Phase II is the Manhattan Park complex, further north.) Northtown I consists of four buildings totaling over 2,100 units, catering to a mix of income levels:
Each building is a variation on a U-shaped plan, with the open portion containing a river-facing courtyard. In addition, each complex was designed to "step down" to the river, taking advantage of river views and preserving the open-aired feeling of the river promenades.
The artery through all these buildings is appropriately named Main Street. Architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee designed the street with a gently zig-zagged route, both to lend curiosity to the path and to make it seem shorter than it already is. Each building has its own array of storefronts, giving Roosevelt Island "one of everything." Here's just a partial list of the island's many commercial establishments: deli, stationery store, library, bank, diner, laundromat, pizzeria, Chinese restaurant, flower shop, thrift store, fish store, credit union, liquor store, and bakery.
|Roosevelt Island Historical Walk 2000 by Neil Tandon & Roosevelt Island Historical Society|