Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Interesting Opportunity for More Park Space in Bronx

Daily News' Alison Reiser is reporting that a retired educator/amateur anthropologist (and longtime Bronx resident) named Mike Cohn is pushing for North and South Brother Islands (in East River off the BoogieDown) to be added to the Gateway National Recreation Area, the nation's first urban national park.

Cohn said to the Daily News, "It's simply a matter of adding the two islands and a path along the Bronx shoreline, from Hunts Point to the Randall Island Walkway. I want to make the South Bronx a place worth seeing and going to."

North Brother Island (which appears to be the more illustrious of the Brothers, having been the site of the Slocum maritime tragedy resulting in the deaths of over 1,000 people) was used as a place to quarantine tuberculosis and typhoid patients from 1880's to World War II... If you want to see some really disturbing pics of the decrepit facility, please click here. Apparently, the facilities built there were even used as dormitories for City College, Columbia University, and Fordham University students, who would take a ferry back and forth to the mainland. Talk about a stressful living situation... Had I know this, I would have never complained about my crowded quadruple room in Hughes Hall at Fordham in my sophomore year. For more background on the island, click here.

Having just learned all this information in researching this post, I have to say I would love if these islands were somehow made accessible to the public. It seems irresponsible to have islands of such historical importance just sitting vacant for some many years.

The BoogieDowner supports Mike Cohn in this impressive effort!
*Photo courtesy of*


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