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“Well Worth a Visit”

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park
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$78.00*
and up
Manhattan Architecture Yacht Cruise
Ranked #154 of 1,153 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed June 13, 2013

The memorial is austere but beautiful. And finally, there's a chance to see the abandoned smallpox hospital up close as well! Always fun to spend an afternoon beating the heat on Roosevelt Island as well.

Thank Yog-Sothoth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"smallpox hospital"
in 10 reviews
"roosevelt island tram"
in 8 reviews
"east river"
in 18 reviews
"aerial tram"
in 7 reviews
"southern tip"
in 6 reviews
"louis kahn"
in 5 reviews
"united nations"
in 5 reviews
"modern architecture"
in 3 reviews
"tech campus"
in 2 reviews
"midtown manhattan"
in 4 reviews
"both sides"
in 3 reviews
"spend an afternoon"
in 3 reviews
"interesting history"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful memorial"
in 2 reviews
"sunny day"
in 2 reviews
"few hours"
in 2 reviews
"new york"
in 3 reviews
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77 - 81 of 138 reviews

Reviewed June 6, 2013

I had some time and since it was beautiful yesterday, I took a trip over to see the memorial. I was never on the tram before so that was a cool thing to do. The memorial itself is stunning. Very crisp lines and geometry make it a stunning sight through the forced perspective. The white granite was getting a bit warm and it was only 75 degrees, so I don't think I'd want to spend too much time there if it were hotter out. That said, there isn't any seating there, which I understand goes with the minimalist look, so I doubt people will be there more than an hour. but it's the midtown skyline view which captivates. Amazing. The park along the river between the tram and memorial is wonderful with lots of benches to relax and take in that view. It was time well spent.

Thank djwd4z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

It seemed a waste of money to build this memorial then not make it a space for people to use. Lots of rules about no food, drink etc and no seats which means it is a memorial and nothing more. The rest of the south end of the island and the walking around the edges is worth visiting.

1  Thank Dianna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

This is an interesting park to visit, even if it's not one of the "top 10" must see sites for New York City. Basically, the entire southern tip of Roosevelt Island has been transformed into a rather formal park with a very contemporary look and feel. The trees and paths are arranged in straight lines and converge at the southernmost portion of the island where there is a rather large bust of FDR. This area is very spartan and stark in terms of its design. If you expect to see a lot infrastructure or historical information here, you may be disappointed.

The views of the city from the park are "OK". They are interesting, but not necessarily spectacular. You can see the UN Headquarters across the river to the west, for example. And you have views down the East River to the south and the river is also on both sides of the park.

This long, narrow park was designed by renowned architect Louis I. Kahn and is probably worth a look in and of itsefl if you are into architecture and design. The linear perspective is very pronounced.

You can take the tram to Roosevelt Island from Manhattan, which is a unique experience. The tram (a modern cable car, actually) is apparently the only "commuter" tram in North America.

There are other things to see on Roosevelt Island including the ruins of the former smallpox hospital (you pass them on the way to the FDR park) and, at the northern tip, a small lighthouse, constructed of dark brown stone. Both the smallpox hospital and the lighthouse were designed by James Renwick, Jr., the architect who designed St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC and the Smithsonian Institute building in DC. If you have the time, this is an interesting place for a walk and for a short visit.

Thank ShoreExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 14, 2013

I hesitate to diss a memorial to such a monumentally important and admired person, but Four Freedoms Park let us down. The location has something going for it -- gorgeous views of Manhattan and Queens, barges and tugs moving up and down the East River, and a short but adventuresome cable-tram ride to and from Roosevelt Island. But the park itself is cold and uninspiring, and the organization that created and maintains it does nothing to draw in the visitor. No signage, no guide, no staff present at the site itself, nothing to tell why this site was chosen, why this design, what's the symbolic or architectural meaning of the allee of trees or the wall. You can buy the "dedication book" for $20, the woman at the entrance told us, but there's nothing else on hand. Want to honor and get a real sense of FDR? Save your time and effort for the memorial site in Washington, DC.

Thank Beth P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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