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Jane's Walk: FDR Four Freedoms State Park and the Past, Present & Future of Roosevelt Island

Come celebrate the past, present and future of Roosevelt Island as we participate in Jane's Walk 2019!

This event is free, but registration is required.

About Jane's Walk:  This annual event held the first weekend in May is a global festival of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by urban activist Jane Jacobs. During Jane’s Walk weekend, the simple act of exploring the city is enhanced with personal observations, local history, and civic engagement. Jane’s Walk encourages people to share stories about their neighborhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and connect with visitors and neighbors alike.

This year's Jane's Walk on Roosevelt Island is a free program that offers participants three mini walking tours in one:

  1. Theodore Liebman, FAIA, and Judith Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, will discuss the development and creation of affordable housing units on Roosevelt Island, and what life on Roosevelt Island is like today.

  2. A tour of the new Cornell Tech Campus, which recently opened in fall 2017, including a discussion with research fellow Michael Byrne about the types of projects Cornell Tech students undertake.

  3. Four Freedoms Park Conservancy on the architectural expression of Louis Kahn, one of the premier American architects of the 20th century, and the 40-year journey to make Kahn's vision of a presidential memorial on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island a reality.

Itinerary: We will meet at the Roosevelt Island Tramway station on Roosevelt Island. Those coming on the subway, the tramway station is a short distance to the south.

For guests requiring any additional assistance, please email

Theodore Liebman, FAIA
Theodore Liebman, FAIA, is a Principal at Perkins Eastman and a leading expert in the planning and design of large-scale urban housing and mixed-use projects. Over the past 50 years, Mr. Liebman has focused on issues of housing, lifestyle, and culture in the urban environment. From 1971 and 1975, Mr. Liebman was Chief of Architecture at the New York State Urban Development Corporation where he oversaw the building of housing for 33,000 families statewide and Chief of Architecture for Roosevelt Island from 1973-75. From 1975-77, he was with the Harvard Institute for International Development working in Tehran, Iran. From 1985-2007, he was a founding principal of The Liebman Melting Partnership (TLMP), focusing on affordable housing and neighborhood development. He is a past president of the NY Chapter of the AIA and in 1988, the recipient of the Andrew J. Thomas Pioneer in Housing Award. In 2005, he received the Ratensky Lecture, which honors individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions to the advancement of housing and community design. He received a B.Arch.from Pratt Institute, a M.Arch. from Harvard University GSD and the Rome Prize Fellowship in Architecture. In 1970-71, he was awarded the Wheelwright Travelling Fellowship in Architecture from Harvard. He is an adjunct professor @ NYU’s Department of Art History and Urban Design and Architecture Studies and teaches a course on Affordable Housing. He has lectured extensively and served on architectural juries at many universities in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. He is a board member of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU).

Judith Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society
Judith Berdy, a 41-year resident of Roosevelt Island, has an intimate knowledge of the island's history, development from an island of institutions to a community of over 14,000 residents today. Ms. Berdy will lead visitors through centuries of lore and folktales of the island.

Michael Byrne, Research Fellow, Digital Life Initiative, Cornell Tech
Michael Byrne is a Research Fellow within the Digital Life (DLI) Initiative at Cornell Tech, exploring intergenerational informational flow, inclusive design, and augmented reality in dance. His current DLI project examines how digital technology can address societal themes of invisibility and representation, using choreography to vivify the hidden histories of pioneering American women. In addition to his previous academic pursuits at the Royal Academy of Music, King’s College London, and the University of Cambridge, Michael performed for 10-years as an actor in the narrative works of the Royal Ballet.

Ted Liebman leads a tour on 2017 Jane’s Walk. Photo credit: Rowa Lee

Ted Liebman leads a tour on 2017 Jane’s Walk. Photo credit: Rowa Lee

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy operates, maintains, and programs Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park to the highest standard. As steward of this extraordinary civic space designed by Louis I. Kahn, the Conservancy advances President Roosevelt’s legacy and inspires, educates, and engages the public in the ideals of the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The Conservancy does this by:

  • safeguarding the memorial as a space for inspired use

  • fostering community and understanding

  • igniting conversation about human rights and freedoms today