Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Randall's, Wards and Riker's Island

We're wrapping up our tour of the lesser known island's by going to Randall's Ward's and Riker's Island. First up Randall's Island.

The island sat as natural land until they were purchased by Jonathan Randal and then the city of New York in 1855. Randall's island and Ward's Island are the same land
mass but a small inlet forms the boundary between the two islands. Even though the island's lay in between the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan they are technically part of Manhattan.

The island one of the better connected island and allows access to Manhattan via a pedestrian footbridge which lifts up to allow boats to pass under and of course the Triborough Bridge which connects Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens.

Most of Randall's Island serves as a city park with recreational and sports fatalities constructed by the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation. The RISF was founded in 1992 to enhance the island and bring extra revenue in for the city. The island has more than 500 acres are composed of baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts and other sports complexes.

During his infamous reign as New York City commissioner and planner, Robert Moses wanted to turn both islands into a giant sports complex. Though, his proposal was unpopular with residents who wanted to and it to make it a nature reserve. Seems Moses got his wish many years later.

Randall's and Ward's Island also are home to 1,386 residents according to the latest census data.

During the Summer many people flock to the island for picnics and sporting events.

Old Downing Stadium

Constructed in 1934 Downing Stadium served as a Football stadium for high school and college events. It was torn down in 2000 to make way for Icahn Stadium which now stands in it's place.

Icahn Stadium

Built in 2005, the new $42 million dollar Icahn Stadium. The complex hosts soccer, lacrosse, and track and field events. It is named after billionaire investor Carl Ichan who donated $10 million towards the construction.

The stadium is the island main attraction and a part of the RISF plan to develop the park into a major sports and recreation center, complete with a water park, expanded baseball and soccer fields, and a nature center.

Randall's Island Driving Range.

A rare site in the middle of New York City, a driving range. The driving range is part of the Randall's Island Golf Center which has a 80-station driving range, and two 18-hole miniature golf courses.

Sunken Meadows Baseball Fields

Built on old marshy land this Sunken Meadows Baseball Fields are one of many baseball fields around the island.

Ward's Island

One of the city's water treatment plant's

FDNY Training Academy

An eleven building complex, known to trainees as "The Rock" the fire academy boasts
a 200,000 gallon water supply tank, a suction pit for drafting tests, and a heavy-duty storm draining system to accommodate water runoff from fire simulations. There are also gasoline and diesel fuel pumps and a 300-car parking lot .

Triborough Bridge Authority Headquarters

The giant headquarters of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, is an affiliate agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It serves as the main office for the agency and houses all the patrol vehicles.

Manhattan Psychiatric Center

One of the nation's oldest and largest Psychiatric Center's. The multi story, multi building complex dominates the skyline of the island and can be seen prominently from Queens or Manhattan.

Manhattan Psychiatric Center Main Building

Riker's Island

Riker's Island is New York's version of Alcatraz and is operated by the New York City Department of Correction.

The island is named after Abraham Rycken, a Dutch settler who moved to the city in 1638 and whose descendants owned Rikers Island until 1884 has been used as a city jail ever since.
The only access to and from the island is by a single bridge connected to Queens.

A few years ago the jail was filled to th point of overflowing, and an 800-bed barge was installed on the East River to accommodate the extra inmates.

One of the many jail complexes on the island

Law & Order shoots an episode on location at Riker's Island

The New York based criminal drama TV series, Law and Order, frequently shoot scenes in and around Riker's Island which gives the show an added level of authenticity and character.

More jail fatalities at Riker's


brian.t.oconnor said...

hey great stuff -- any chance that you might re-create the Bronx? Not just the southern part you have on the map.

Elliot said...

I've been thinking about doing that. Unfortunately, my map doesn't extend that far north into the Bronx. It may make an appearance in a future update.