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In what was initially a 2-mile seawall engineering project, Ms. Russo, as Director of Planning and Development for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, was able to leverage the community outreach, interagency coordination and technical data to generate several landmark and open space projects on this 11-acre site. Many stakeholders were involved in this site including: on-island residents, off-island private view holders from the Sutton Area community to the United Nations, official oversight agencies as well as the larger New York design communities for the three landmark ruins, the MTA with their subway line passing under the site, a private foundation, and the estates of Louis Kahn interested in the yet to-be-realized FDR Memorial. Much of this work helped pioneer the role of ruins in the New York City urban fabric.

Projects realized at Southpoint, creating win/win situations and unique design solutions include: the demolition of the landmark City Hospital with a unique asbestos abatement to allow safe site access and potential space for a revenue generating structure; rehabilitation of landmark Strecker Lab as a Transit Authority Substation (2002 Landmarks Conservancy Award winner); stabilization of the Smallpox Hospital and Illumination with funding from Beekman Area residents (also awarded an ISTEA Grant for illumination);, and shaping of the Southpoint plinth according to Louis Kahn's FDR Memorial design, to allow public access and better understanding of this unique and powerful design.


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