Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park To Receive $10 Million

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Roosevelt Island Park Groundbreaking Scheduled for January 2010

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We are extremely grateful to Mr. Eychaner and the Alphawood Foundation for the generous support

The Alphawood Foundation of Chicago announced today it will award a major gift of $10 Million to help fund construction of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. The park is a private-public partnership between New York State, New York City and the private sector. Groundbreaking for the park is scheduled for January 2010. Construction of the park will create 200 jobs for more than two years and deliver an extraordinary new public space in the heart of New York City.

“We are thrilled to help build this park in memory of President Roosevelt whose leadership and investment in people and infrastructure brought us through the Great Depression,” said Fred Eychaner, Chairman of the Alphawood Foundation.

“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Eychaner and the Alphawood Foundation for the generous support,” said William J. vanden Heuvel, Founder and Chair Emeritus, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. “Now it’s time to build. The park will be a majestic addition to New York’s offering of public spaces and an instant New York City institution. It will be a reminder of what we as New Yorkers stand for and fight for, and want with all our hearts to leave to our children, and they, to theirs.”

In 1973, New York State Governor Rockefeller and New York City Mayor Lindsay presided over the dedication ceremony of Roosevelt Island to pay tribute to the great president. Welfare Island, in the center of the East River of New York City, was re-named Roosevelt Island and four acres at its southern tip were set aside to build the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park designed by the renowned architect Louis I. Kahn.

The Alphawood Foundation has been funding operating expenses of the project since 2006, which makes it possible for construction to begin in 2010. The $10 million gift, triggered by construction milestones in phase 1, will allow the second of three construction phases to proceed immediately after phase 1 is complete.

Franklin R. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park
The Franklin R. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is a public-private partnership between the state, city and the private sector. Dedicated in 1973 by New York State Governor Rockefeller and New York City Mayor Lindsay, the park was designed by the great American architect, the late Louis Kahn. It was his last design and the only project of his which can still be built. The park will be situated on four acres on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, overlooking Manhattan and Queens. The park will serve as permanent memorial to President Roosevelt’s vision for a better, more peaceful world and will commemorate the President whose leadership inspired our nation during its darkest hours and rekindled the American dream.

The park is named after President Roosevelt’s January 6, 1941 address to Congress in which he outlined the “Four Freedoms”: Freedom of speech, freedom to worship in one’s own way, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC is a non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. The corporation is designated by the Institute as the development entity dedicated to build the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, a landmark civic project in honor of President Roosevelt. Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Institute, co-chairs the LLC with Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., and Kathy Sloane, a trustee of the Institute for more than 20 years, serves as Vice-Chair. Sally Minard is President and Chief Executive Officer and Gina Pollara is the Executive Director.

Alphawood Foundation
Alphawood Foundation supports nonprofit organizations promoting fairness and equity through progressive policy change, promoting the rights and protections of LGBT citizens and people living with HIV/AIDS, and organizations advancing the Arts, Arts Education, Architecture, Archaeology, and Domestic Violence Intervention/Prevention. It was founded in 1992 by its chairman, Fred Eychaner. Alphawood Foundation accepts proposals by invitation only.

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Iva Benson

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