Immigration on Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island historian Judy Berdy will lead a tour of the north end of the island on Sat., March 26th at 2:30 pm .

Saturday, March 26,2016 at 2:30 pm


Roosevelt Island, the sliver of land that sits between Manhattan and Queens, has a long history with immigration as most of New York City does. The City of New York purchased the island  in 1828 from the Blackwell family. During the 19th century Roosevelt Island, then known as Blackwell’s Island, was largely populated with prisons, asylums and welfare facilities. The prisoners, were responsible for much of the construction of the hospitals and the lighthouse all on the northern end of the island. The asylum housed the island’s poor immigrant populations. The island was leased to New York’s Urban Development Corporation and largely redeveloped in the early 1970s as the most ambitious effort of the New York State Urban Development Corporation. Roosevelt Island historian Judy Berdy will lead a tour of the north end of the island, including James Blackwell’s house, the former Lunatic Asylum aka The Octagon, the lighthouse and the 1970’s apartment complexes on Saturday, March 26th at 2:30 pm .

Friends of HDC $10 / General Admission $20


Leave A Comment

About Us

The Historic Districts Council (HDC) is the advocate for all of New York City's historic neighborhoods. HDC is the only organization in New York that works directly with people who care about our city's historic neighborhoods and buildings. We represent a constituency of over 500 local community organizations.

Contact Us

Historic Districts Council
232 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 614-9107
Fax: (212) 614-9127

Donate Now

Become a Friend of HDC! Your donation helps preserve, improve, and celebrate the places that make New York great.

Join Our Mailing List

Receive updates on programs, events, action alerts, and our Landmarks Preservation Commission testimony.