In mid-September, dignitaries and citizens of New York gathered to celebrate the first shipment of granite foundation stones for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. Honored guests included David Paterson, the Governor of the State of New York; Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of the City of New York, among other luminaries.
Representatives from the general contractor, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; the stone installer, Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp.; and installation materials manufacturer, MAPEI Corp., participated in the events of the day. During the ceremony, the dignitaries signed their names on a plaque made from MAPEI’s Ultracolor Plus grout. Kerapoxy, a 100 percent-solids epoxy grout, has been specified to fill the joints between the stones, which will be set with masonry mortar.
The park, located at the south end of Roosevelt Island in the center of the East River, will be dedicated to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A square plaza called “The Room,” will highlight Roosevelt’s famous “Four Freedoms” speech, delivered on January 6, 1941. “The Room” will pay homage to America’s commitment to these freedoms -freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Granite-paved promenades protected by low granite walls will line the tree-shaded garden that leads to “The Room” at the tip of the park. The tops of the granite walls alongside two striking alleys of Little Leaf Linden trees will be engraved with memories from both FDR’s - and our country’s - life. Each of the 144 milestone “chapters” will be engraved with a memory and the name of the chapter donor or someone the donor wishes to honor.
New York City underwent a fiscal crisis that put the project on hold. But on March 29, 2010, construction began on the site, and it is expected to be completed in 2011.