Today in History, The Roosevelt Island Subway Station Opened

Today in History, The Roosevelt Island Subway Station Opened

On October 29th in 1989, the Roosevelt Island Subway Station Opened. It was a big change for the MTA and even more so for the community.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Roosevelt Island Daily thanks Sylvan Klein for the reminder.

When Roosevelt Island was reborn as a new kind of community, everyone relied on Queens buses for public transit. Later, the Tram lofted isolated residents to and from Manhattan.

The new neighborhood kinda relished the isolation. Some people moved into the WIRE buildings as much for that as anything else. An escape from crime, congestion and filth, but with the flip side of Broadway, business and great restaurants just a quick hop across the East River.

The Roosevelt Island Subway Station Subway Station revolutionized the two-mile-long strip of rock with a thin layer of soil on top because it opened a fast artery into the rest of the city. Seclusion diminished by many degrees…

The community could never have grown as it did with subway trains roaring into the tunnel deep underground. The Tram could never have supported Manhattan Park and the Octagon along with the WIRE buildings. And Southtown is unimaginable without the subway centering its common area.

But the Roosevelt Island Subway Station Delivered More Than Commuters

Southtown residential towers form a background for the subway station at night and under repair. 33 years later, the roof, a rarity in the system, is undergoing repairs. New elevators and escalators are also on the way.

Each year, the characteristics of Roosevelt Island draw neared those of the city nearby. After the F Train extended the 63rd Street line deep into Queens, the merger grew more entangled.

Still, all in all, it seems unlikely that the marriage will ever be consumated. Roosevelt Island still has protections guarding its individualality. The state will control the Island for decades and plays a strong role in maintaining greenspace and limited development.

A masterplan is in place and the major parks – FDR Four Freedoms, Southpoint and Lighthouse – are here to stay. Community-friendly Cornell Technion University has two more phases ahead before completion. A world class institution after just ten years, it’s also a community resource.

And the numerous historic sites doting Roosevelt Island are protected and will retain their flavor forever.

The Roosevelt Island Subway Station, 33 years old today, is a core element in how our community thrives. In fact, Roosevelt Island would not be the same without it.

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