About the Park
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is an enduring tribute to the life and work of President Roosevelt.
The Conservancy’s mission is to operate and maintain this stunning new memorial to President Franklin Roosevelt on Roosevelt Island in partnership with New York State Parks. The non-profit Conservancy provides public programming as well as the fdr4freedoms digital resource, an educational initiative that tells the story of the Roosevelt era in historic video, audio and photos. The Conservancy offers a wide variety of volunteer and job opportunities, year-round, in this Louis Kahn designed civic space in the East River, minutes from Manhattan by tram or subway.
In the late 1960s, during a period of national urban renewal, New York City Mayor John Lindsay proposed to reinvent Roosevelt Island (then called Welfare Island) into a vibrant, residential community. The New York Times championed renaming the island for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and constructing a memorial to him, remarking: "It has long seemed to us that an ideal place for a memorial to FDR would be on Welfare Island, which...could be easily renamed in his honor... It would face the sea he loved, the Atlantic he bridged, the Europe he helped to save, the United Nations he inspired." The man chosen to give shape to this idea was the architect Louis I. Kahn, one of the masters of 20th century architecture. Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Mayor Lindsay announced the project in 1973 and the appointment of Louis Kahn as its architect. In short order, the Governor became Vice President of the United States, Louis Kahn finished his work and died unexpectedly, and the City of New York approached bankruptcy. It required patience, memory and determination - on March 29, 2010, 38 years after its announcement, construction of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park began.
Board of Directors
William J. vanden Heuvel, Founder & Chair Emeritus
Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., Honorary Chair
Barbara Shattuck Kohn, Chair
Carl Weisbrod, Vice Chair
Sally Minard, President
William R. Griffith, Secretary & Treasurer
John S. Dyson
James S. Polshek
Katrina vanden Heuvel