Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park in New York. Christy Veeder / Thornton Tomasetti.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park



We provided structural engineering services for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, located at the southernmost tip of New York’s Roosevelt Island. The four-acre park, which was the final work of architect Louis I. Kahn, includes a monumental staircase leading to a triangular garden, which is flanked by linden-tree allées. The garden culminates at a 1,050-pound bronze bust of FDR, marking the entrance to a 3,600-square-foot plaza (the “room”) surrounded by 28 36-ton columns of Mount Airy (North Carolina) granite.

Our work included developing the foundation and raising the park elevation by 15 inches. To enable the columns to weather the island’s harsh marine environment, our engineers recommended that they be made entirely of granite, rather than concrete with a granite veneer, as originally specified. Structural-steel reinforcement was used to hold the columns together and allow them to resist storm forces and waves.

Louis I. Kahn, Louis Kahn, Kahn, Roosevelt, FDR
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