New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed Jeffrey Escobar (New York) to serve on the board of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, a non-profit, public benefit entity that oversees the management and governance of the island.
Roosevelt Island is a two-mile-long, narrow island in the East River between Manhattan and the Queens section of Long Island in New York City.
With the New York State Senate's confirmation of the Governor's appointment on June 21, Escobar becomes one of nine directors on a board charged with running the day-to-day operations, public services, development and infrastructure for the island and its mixed-income community of about 14,000 residents.
The island has a remarkable history. For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, the island served as home to mental health facilities, charity hospitals and a jail. The New York Lunatic Asylum, the Smallpox Hospital, the Charity Hospital and Penitentiary Hospital, which served inmates, were housed there.
The narrow slice of land was called Welfare Island until 1973, when it was renamed in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During this time, the island was redeveloped, and famed architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee designed residential complexes. Many island buildings, parks and streets provide spectacular views of Manhattan, and the island is home to not only the famed Roosevelt Island Tram, the only aerial commuter tramway in the United States, but also Cornell University's Cornell Tech Graduate Campus and Four Freedoms Memorial Park, designed by the late famed architect Louis Kahn.