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Back in Time, Celebrating the Roosevelt Island Subway’s 30th Birthday


Roosevelt Island Subway’s 30th birthday passed in 2019. You probably missed it, but our reader Sylvan Klein didn’t. While I served on a grand jury, Sylvan caught the Transit Museum‘s reminder on Twitter and sent me the link.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

Talk about nostalgia, the Roosevelt Island Subway Station was the system’s newest, and it was clean and neat, inside and out.

The first time I set foot on Roosevelt Island, eager to learn the City, my wife arranged for us to join Adventures on a Shoestring. They lead groups on cheap tours of little known New York neighborhoods.

We think of Roosevelt Island as less than well-known now, but then, it was practically invisible.

No joke. A friend I left behind upstate failed to find it in a magazine ad. I think it was Seagrams, and they airbrushed us out of the East River.

Maybe they thought Roosevelt Island was a darkroom error.

Meeting at the Tram

We followed instructions, joining a small crown in the 59th Street Tram Plaza, and soon took New York’s most memorable glide across the East River to that two-mile long outcropping of Manhattan schist we’d soon call home.

The Roosevelt Island Subway’s 30th birthday was far from our minds as our guide took us north on Main Street.

But there it was.

“The newest station in the system,” he said,

It’s a painful comparison with what we have today.

On Roosevelt Island Subway's 30th Birthday, a look at the exterior today.
Almost 30 years later, the Roosevelt Island Subway Station in 2018.

Waiting, Roosevelt Island Subway Noir

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