Friday, January 4, 2008

Renwick's Small Pox Hospital - Partial Wall Collapse

I am embarrassed to say that I learned of the wall collapse via the Internet and the post put up by Gothamist this morning. Immediately afterwards I called Judy Berdy, the Roosevelt Island Historical Society's President, about the collapse. I am a member of the RIHS and am quite interested in helping where I can. Ms. Berdy indicated that the Roosevelt Island operating Corporation and the Trust for Public Land are focused on stabilizing the remaining structure and determining what needs to be done so we should expect to see action within the next week.

The above pictures were taken by Ms. Berdy soon after she learned of the collapse on Wednesday.

Update 12:00 pm

From: Stephen Shane
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2008 10:38:19
Subject: Re: Timing of Renwick Stabilization

We are working with TPL's engineers and they have planned a site visit for Monday to assess the problem and to formulate a plan. I have asked that whatever can be done in the context of stabilization that would have been included in the work scheduled to begin this summer as part of the Southpoint Park project, be immediately identified so that when performed on an emergency basis, further deterioration can be avoided. All of this requires some time with plans, permitting and fabrication before installation can occur. We are guessing late February to mid-March. We will know better after next week. Will let everyone know when we know.

Stephen H. Shane
President & CEO
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp.

Update 2:45 pm:

The following e-mail is from Andy Stone, the Director of TPL's New York City programs:

From: Andy Stone
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2008 11:26:25
Subject: Re: Fw: Timing of Renwick Stabilization

Hi Eric. We are coordinating this closely with Steve Shane at RIOC, as indicated in his email. Preserving the ruin as a centerpiece for the new park, as well as preventing any further deterioration in the short term, are both very high priorities for The Trust for Public Land.

Best regards,
NYT - 2008 Jan 4 - Renwick Collapse

Update: 4:20 pm:

The New York Times posted a story about the collapse which can be linked to HERE. Accompanying the Times story is a photo slide show linked HERE.
As an aside, unrelated to the text of the NYT article, if you look at the URL, web link code, to the NYT article or slide show you will note the word "asylum" as a reference to this article. This is a mistake on the part of the NYT as the Smallpox Hospital was not an asylum. The City Lunatic Asylum, or rather its remains now transformed are at the Northern end of Roosevelt Island, and is known as the Octagon, a residential apartment complex.

Related Linkage:


  1. for a giggle, check out the comments on the times article... such concern for our tax dollars!

  2. this was in the mortal instruments! just sayin...