Four Freedoms Park in winter maintains the calm without the crowds in New York City’s most serene space. History grows more clear with the chill.
By David Stone
for The Roosevelt Island Daily News
Correctly, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park, the tapered south tip of Manhattan’s Little Island — Roosevelt — changes with the seasons.
In winter, features take a clearer turn. Crowds thin, and on a mild afternoon, you’re free with your thoughts.
First time I walked down the meadow, it was muddy. The Park hadn’t opened yet, and I walked with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. We left a time capsule placing ceremony for a first look.
Maloney managed a half-million dollar allocation for construction.
The FDR bust was in place, but pictures were forbidden.
That bust’s now the heart of Four Freedoms Park. In winter, light leaks over the top as the afternoon quiet collects.
Four Freedoms Park Winter Honors
When seminal architect Louis Kahn died suddenly in Penn Station, plans for the Park were with him.
It took decades, however, to fend off real estate developers and raise funds to build New York City’s most serene space.
FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech, his 1941 State of the Union, keynoted an era devoted to human rights. The world was shaken with war, and the United States soon entered.
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