Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park launches exhibit

December 18, 2009 - Spotlights

Shown (from left) are: executive director Gina Pollara; vice-chair Kathy Sloane; daughter of Architect Louis Kahn, Sue Ann Kahn; and Sally Minard, president and chief executive officer of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC has launched an exhibit on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park hosted by Steelcase, Inc. in the lobby of their building at 4 Columbus Circle. The exhibit will run through January 8, 2010, and showcases a history of this park as well as a history of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and architect Louis Kahn.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park will be a landscaped Park on four acres at the southern end of Roosevelt Island, south of the landmarked Renwick Ruin and directly across from the United Nations. The Park was designed specifically for the site by the renowned architect Kahn to honor Roosevelt and create a permanent testament to the Four Freedoms he delivered in the famous speech from 1941. The freedoms he wanted for all people were freedom of speech, freedom to worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. The park honors these freedoms and will be the first and only Louis Kahn architectural work in New York City.
In the lobby of the Steelcase building, friends and supporters will have the first opportunity to view a maquette of the Park. The model helps visitors visualize the overall layout of the park as it will look upon completion. Computer renderings are also on display along with three watercolors depicting the spectacular views of the New York City skyline and the United Nations building seen from the Garden through the allées of trees and other viewpoints. Exhibit hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"The exhibition also provides an opportunity for the public to become involved in the project," said Executive Director, Gina Pollara. Four eight-foot tall columns, inspired by the design of the Four Freedoms flag, were installed in the exhibition, each representing a different Freedom. Visitors can make donations of any size into the columns, supporting the Freedom of their choice. "The Park will be an amazing public space, but finances still need to be raised. This provides the public a chance to be part of the Four Freedoms legacy."
The Park was recently granted approval by the Board of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to construct the first phase of the Park. It will be constructed in three phases over a period of 30 months.
Support and endorsements for the park have been forthcoming from many public and civic organizations, as well as elected officials including Governor David Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The design of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park was commissioned by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1973, and supported over the past three decades by New York Governors Wilson, Carey, Cuomo, Spitzer and Paterson. Two years ago, the City and State recommitted to the public and private partnership to finally realize this extraordinary civic space.
Donors are also invited to sponsor one of 150 Little Leaf Linden trees arranged in allées to border the east and west of the great lawn. Franklin D. Roosevelt was responsible for planting over two billion trees throughout the United States under the auspices of the Civilian Conservation Corporation, which he created. These trees at the Park continue that legacy.
To sponsor a Freedom Tree or make a donation of any size to help build the Park, visit www.fdrfourfreedomspark.org.
"Let's build it now and rebuild something in us all."

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