City Hospital (Roosevelt Island)

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City Hospital
Island Hospital, Roosevelt Island, New York (New York County, New York).jpg
City Hospital (Roosevelt Island) is located in New York City
City Hospital (Roosevelt Island)
City Hospital (Roosevelt Island) is located in New York
City Hospital (Roosevelt Island)
City Hospital (Roosevelt Island) is located in the US
City Hospital (Roosevelt Island)
Location Roosevelt Island,
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates 40°45′11″N 73°57′31″W / 40.75306°N 73.95861°W / 40.75306; -73.95861Coordinates: 40°45′11″N 73°57′31″W / 40.75306°N 73.95861°W / 40.75306; -73.95861
Area less than one acre
Built 1832
Architect James Renwick, Jr.
NRHP reference # 72000868[1]
Added to NRHP March 16, 1972

City Hospital (also known as Island Hospital or Charity Hospital) was a historic hospital on Roosevelt Island, Manhattan in New York City.


Originally named Penitentiary Hospital and located on what was then known as Blackwell's Island, the first hospital was built in 1832 to serve the prisoners housed at Blackwell's Penitentiary,[2] after the hospital was destroyed by a fire in 1858, architect James Renwick, Jr. designed a new building to be called City Hospital, on which prisoners completed construction in 1861. It served both inmates and New York City's poorer population;[2][3] in 1870, the hospital was renamed Charity Hospital and a medical superintendent was hired after the quality of care was criticized.[2] The city changed the name of the island to Welfare Island to reflect the mission of the institutions located there.[4]


The prison closed in 1935, and the hospital was closed in 1957, when operations for Charity Hospital and Smallpox Hospital were moved to Queens,[3][4] the building, designed in the Second Empire style, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, but not given protected landmark status.[3] The next year, Welfare Island was renamed Roosevelt Island in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt.[5] The hospital was demolished in 1994, with stones salvaged from the structure used to the line paths in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, which was constructed on the southern tip of the island.[3][5]



  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c "Records of City Hospital (Welfare Island, N.Y.) 1877-1961". New York Academy of Medicine. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d Christopher Gray (1994-10-16). "Streetscapes/Charity Hospital on Roosevelt Island; Piles of Rubble Where Grim Gray Walls Once Stood". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  4. ^ a b "Smallpox Hospital (Renwick Ruin)". Roosevelt Island Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  5. ^ a b Gregory Beyer (2009-01-23). "Roosevelt Island - Signs of Progress for a Memorial Deferred on Roosevelt Island". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-02.