Page 1 of 18
All rights involving text on Pages 2 - 18 of this presentation of the
Roosevelt Island Historical Walk
are reserved to and by its author Neil Tandon and the Roosevelt Island Historical Society for whom he planned, researched and wrote it.

Roosevelt Island looking north.
Over a span of nearly 175 years, the NYC Dept. of Correction has been associated with an Island in the East River having a succession of first names: Blackwell's, Welfare and currently Roosevelt.

The island was acquired by the city in 1828 to erect a penitentiary as well as health-related facilities. Today, the municipal jail agency maintains a small unit on the island for terminally-ill inmates.

Moving in 17 pages from the old lab at the south end to the lighthouse on the northern tip, the virtual tour presented here focuses on contemporary sights and their historical background.

The Roosevelt Island Historical Walk was planned, researched, and written by Eagle Scout candidate Neil Tandon under Boy Scout Troop 59, Roosevelt Island, auspices.

The Walk was created for the benefit of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS), the people of Roosevelt Island and those visiting it. Complete funding for the project was provided by NYS Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC).

NYCHS is honored RIHS chose as the site for sharing Roosevelt Island Historical Walk on the web.

NYCHS Webmaster

Each of the next 17 pages has a link to its equivalent in PDF downloadable printable format.
















Author's Acknowledgments:
I would like to thank the following people for their assistance with this project:

  • Judith Berdy, for her extensive resources and continuously generous involvement;
  • John Dougherty and his family for warmly accommodating and assisting me with endless hours of computer work;
  • Ethel Romm for her hours of professional editorship;
  • Geoff Kerr and the scouts of Troop 59; and
  • the New York Public Library for its vast resources and helpful staff.
  • Thanks also to those employees of RIOC who offered their assistance, especially the following:
    • Robert Ryan for providing RIOC's funds and getting the project moving;
    • John Durso, for his generous and dependable assistance with every aspect of the project; and
    • Robert Antonek for his extensive help and input.
  • Most importantly, thanks to
    • my family,
    • friends, and
    • God
    for Their unconditional support, love, and understanding.
Neil Tandon
June 2000
RIHS home page
Neil Tandon's own RI Walk site
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Home Page
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Before Rikers (3 Parts)
Origins in the
City of New York