Controversy Over Proposed Roosevelt Island Sign

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Roosevelt Island IR SignThe Roosevelt Island Historical Society has issued a call for action to oppose a proposed “RI” art-piece dubbed a “Welcome Monument” planned for placement outside the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitor Center Kiosk.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) is now soliciting public comments to gauge community support for the proposed 3-D, 10-foot-tall RI welcome-monument / sign.

A prototype of the fire-engine red sign – one part of a three-part way finder project that will include directional signposts and vertical informational kiosks – was on public display at Tram Plaza on Saturday (photo here provided by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society).

In an e-mail to supporters, the Roosevelt Island Historical Society said:

“The structure interferes with the panoramic view of the tram, the lawn, the landmark quality Visitor Center Kiosk and the city beyond; the structure serves no purpose other that to have 10 feet tall letters; the structure is a tempting object for kids to climb on; Roosevelt Island is a community not an amusement park attraction; and people are already on Roosevelt Island: RIHS sees no reason to shout; people know they are here.”

The project is a joint venture between RIOC and Hudson Related Retail LLC, the company that also manages the Island’s commercial real estate holdings. The community members of the RIOC Board all voted against this structure.

The proposed RI monument is reminiscent of the landmark LOVE and HOPE sculptures in Midtown Manhattan and the recently-installed OY/YO sculpture in Williamsburg which salutes Brooklyn’s Yiddish and hip-hop cultures.

Comments about the sign should be sent to  For more information, contact Alonza Robertson, RIOC’s public information officer at or (212) 832-4540.

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