Sunday, December 2, 2007

Renwick’s Connection to Welfare Island – More Than Just the Smallpox Hospital

Most Roosevelt Island residents and other interested parties know that James Renwick was the architect behind the former Smallpox Hospital (link to RI Historical Walk) now known as the Renwick Ruin (RIHS link) but few people realize he also was in charge of the planning and construction of two other structures which no longer exist on the Island.

The structures Renwick designed, in addition to the Smallpox Hospital, were the Workhouse and City Hospital. Each was eventually razed and no longer has any footprint on Roosevelt Island today. But each was a major part of life here on the Island in their day.

Workhouse Image

The above image was found on a NYC Department of Corrections webpage regarding its history and connection to Blackwell / Welfare / Roosevelt Island.

Renwick’s NY Times obituary (shown below) discussed all three structures near the bottom of the article in addition to listing each of his major accomplishments. For a full version of the obit double click the image.


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