Autumn 2020 in Southpoint Park was poignant because the badly flawed conversion underway changed it forever. We left the visible scars out for a nostalgia tour of the treasure it once was.
By David Stone
Special to the Roosevelt Island Daily News
Autumn 2020 in Southpoint Park, a nostalgia tour…
Scars are visible all along the shores, and the vision of Brooklyn Bridge Park North is taking shape. But we decided on capturing one last look while the legacy remains.
When then RIOC president Susan Rosenthal sought an update of Southpoint Park in 2016, she emphasized a longterm plan for the Smallpox Hospital as crucial. But as outside influences took over, that diminished, spun off to a nonprofit group with unknown local connections.
This pushed residents farther onto the sidelines.
With RIOC’s plan for making Southpoint Park a tourist draw, autumn 2020 retreats like this may make a last stand.
Although RIOC appears on the verge of missing another promised deadline for opening the Hope Memorial, our autumn 2020 tour of Southpoint Park found some slow progress.
Strolling the lanes and meadows…
Flocks of Canadian geese that have raised generations in the park are now endangered because RIOC’s plan wipes out the last natural shorelines. Next spring, safe areas for birthing goslings will be nearly non-existent.
Finally, a note of farewell, autumn 2020 in Southpoint Park
Seasons will come and go, but the park will never be like this again. Vistas change, and traffic increases. And RIOC makes clear that resident concerns are of little value. The turn now is to tourists and real estate developers, and it isn’t coming back.
Enjoy this gem… while you still can.
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