Treasures of New York – Four Freedoms Park

Four Freedoms Park Fact Sheet

Air date: 10/31/2013

 Four Freedoms Park Fact Sheet


  • The park is a memorial to FDR and to the Four Freedoms speech he gave in front of Congress in 1941
  • Construction of Four Freedoms Park began on March 29, 2010
  • Construction of Park took 30 months, and the timelines of the Park’s construction can be broken down into three phases:
    • Phase 1: Construction of the “Room”, a 60 foot-square open plaza of granite (16 months);
    • Phase 2: Shoreline improvements and foundations for the Park’s garden (24 months);
    • Phase 3: Installation of lawn, trees, monumental stair, and entry (12 months).

•       The focal point of the memorial is a 1,050 pound 6 foot tall bronze bust of FDR

•       The original bust was a life-size clay, created in 1933 by artist Jo Davidson at the White House

  • In 2012, a copy of the original bust was enlarged, cast in bronze, and installed in the park
  • Nicholas Benson, a MacArthur Fellow, hand carved President Roosevelt’s immortal words into the granite wall at the north side of “The Room”
  • Louis Kahn was asked to design the monument early ‘70s, but he died in N.Y. Penn Station in 1974 carrying the unfinished park plans with him
  • The park is four acres
  • Part of the park is “The Room” which is made up of 190 individuals stones, seventy of which measure 6 by 6 by 12 feet weigh 36 tons
  • There are 120 Littleleaf linden trees in rows and five Copper Beech trees around park
  • The park was opened with a dedication ceremony on October 17, 2012 (Mayor Michael Bloomberg, President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo were all in attendance)
  • Former U.N. Ambassador Bill vanden Heuvel spearheaded the effort to construct the park with Sally Minard and Mrs. FDR Jr.
  • The park is located in the southernmost point of Roosevelt Island in the East River between Manhattan Island and Queens
  • The park has a clear view of the United Nations which FDR helped create
  • More than 130,000 visitors from all over the world have visited the park since its opening