Roosevelt Island lies between the island of Manhattan to its west and the borough of Queens to its east. Running from Manhattan's East 46th to East 85th streets, it is about two miles long, with a maximum width of 800 feet, and a total area of 147 acres. The island is part of the Borough of Manhattan and New York County.
Before colonization, the island was called Minnahononck by the aboriginal Indians. In 1637, the Dutch purchased the island from the natives and named it Varckens Island. It was named Manning's Island after captain John Manning between 1666 and 1686, Blackwell's Island between 1686 and 1921, and Welfare Island between 1921 and 1973. Throughout the 19th century, various hospitals, asylums, and correctional institutions were located on the island. Welfare Penitentiary was closed in 1935 after the completion of a new penitentiary on Rikers Island.
Roosevelt Island Buildings