From June 25, 1916
Unique Building to Join Queensboro Bridge: Will Serve Both as Patients’ Entrance to Blackwell’s Island and Storage Warehouse for Many City Institutions Located There (PDF)
Blackwell Island was the name up until 1971 for what is now called Roosevelt Island in New York City. The 1916 article discussed how limited transportation was to the island, which was a problem for the island:
Transportation to Blackwell’s Island for many years past has been by means of boats from Twenty-sixth Street, Fifty-third Street, and Seventieth Street, Manhattan. This method has meant considerable inconvenience to doctors and visitors, and more especially to hospital patients who are subject to three or four transfers from ambulance to boat — and boat to ambulance.
Transportation to the island has since been improved by the tramway system built in 1976, which has carried more than 26 million passengers. This was also the spot of the iconic scene in the 2001 film Spider-Man where the title character has to choose between saving his girlfriend or trapped passengers on the tramway. (Hat tip to NYC resident David Friedman for pointing all this out.)
I couldn’t find evidence of this building ever having been built. (Readers, feel free to comment below and tell me if this is inaccurate.) According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, prior to 1955 the only way for vehicles or pedestrians to enter the island was through an elevator located midway through the Queensboro Bridge. That elevator — somewhat similar though not quite the same as the proposed idea in the 1916 article — was demolished in 1970.
Possibly related articles:
- What It means To Inspect An Incoming Steamer
- New York’s First Subway Built More Than Forty Years Ago
- A Little Island Near New York Peopled With Babies