Four Freedoms Park Visitor Center

The proposed visitor and staff center serves the public who come to experience President Roosevelt’s legacy embodied in Louis I. Kahn’s inspiring design for Four Freedoms Park.

Rendering of people sitting outside of a proposed Four Freedoms Park visitor center with a view of the East River and Queens beyond

Located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, the park celebrates Roosevelt’s vision of a world based upon freedom of speech and worship, free from want and fear.


The site is adjacent to the park, situated between the landmarked ruins of James Renwick’s 19th-Century Smallpox Hospital and the East River, with views of the Queens waterfront. In contrast to Kahn’s bermed landscape “garden” and “room” enclosed by massive granite blocks, the architecture of the visitor and staff center is light.

  • Aerial plan of the site, existing ruins, and Four Freedoms park
    Aerial site plan
  • Programming diagram of the visitor center delineating public and operations spaces
    Programming diagram
  • Diagram of daylight and views to and from the visitor center
    Diagram of daylight and views to and from the visitor center

A rhythm of tall metal and glass wall panels merge the exterior with the context. Daylight fills the interior, and the building opens to the south and east, providing views of Four Freedoms Park and the water. The new building design includes public spaces, such as an exhibition area, multipurpose classroom, gathering space, café and restrooms, and also provides space for the Park’s maintenance and operations with offices, a muster room, workshop, storage, and garage.

four freedoms proposed interior