FDR Hope Memorial Unveiling on Roosevelt Island Salutes Disabilities




FDR Hope Memorial. Image via rioc.ny.gov

Roosevelt Island unveiled the FDR Hope Memorial, the first memorial to FDR that focuses on his disability, with the sculpture depicting a joyous moment when FDR has turned away from his work to greet a young girl who, like FDR, wears braces on her legs.

Created by sculptor/designer, Meredith Bergmann, who recently unveiled her piece on Literary Walk in Central Park entitled Monumental Women, the sculpture was onveiled on July 17, 2021. The intertwined history of FDR + Roosevelt Island + polio will be told in a timeline on special granite pavers on the plaza.

The Island’s housing was built with the disabled as a priority. Certain apartments were specially designed with wider doorways, lower light switches, and accessible bathroom and kitchen facilities. All of the public and commercial spaces followed suit. People in wheelchairs became part of the fabric of all of our lives. Roosevelt Island is a living, breathing memorial to FDR. And when we celebrated FDR Day here each year, it was clear that we were focused on FDR as an icon for the disabled. ~ Dr. Jack Resnick 

The FDR Hope Memorial is located in Southpoint Park at the southern end of Roosevelt Island in New York City.

Primary funding by Alice Heyman via New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright; Four Freedoms Park Conservancy; Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and New York City Council.

Follow Four Freedoms Park Conservancy; Follow Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

Looking forward to new public art installation honoring journalist Nellie Bly unveiling on Roosevelt Island toward the end of this year.

In a related post, The Ford Foundation’s current online exhibition entitled Indisposable: Structures of Support After the ADA, can be viewed through August 14, 2021.