Hart Island Timeline

1654 Island bought from Native Americans by the English physician Thomas Pell.

1864 — Used as a coaching floor for the 31st Regiment of the United States Colored Troops, a segregated regiment of the Union Army.

1865 — More than three,000 Confederate prisoners of struggle are imprisoned on the island.

1868 — The metropolis Department of Charities and Correction purchases the island for a brand new municipal burial floor referred to as City Cemetery. Public burials start the next 12 months and proceed to today.

1885 — The Pavilion, a 300-patient ladies’s insane asylum, is constructed. The asylum closes in 1895 and is later used as a large number corridor and workhouse for younger males incarcerated on the island. It can also be used as a shoe manufacturing unit by Phoenix House within the 1970s.

1931 — Cornerstone laid for the Catholic chapel. Built on metropolis land, it’s utilized by a number of denominations till 1966.

1950s — Two antiaircraft Nike missile silos constructed. After decommissioning, hatchways to their underground magazines are sealed.

1967 — Phoenix House begins utilizing an previous tubercular hospital, development date unknown, for drug therapy.

1976 — Phoenix House ordered to go away the island as ferry service is in the reduction of in the course of the metropolis’s fiscal disaster. Vandals start damaging buildings.

2015 — An inside Buildings Department draft report recommends the demolition of 13 deteriorated buildings and the fencing of the Pavilion and the chapel. It additionally recommends “immediate repair” of the century-old Record Storage Building and a pumping station.

2016 — New York State designates all of Hart Island eligible for itemizing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places due to historic, architectural and archaeological significance.

2019 — City legal guidelines are handed to switch management of the island from the Department of Correction to the Parks Department by 2021 and to make City Cemetery extra accessible to households of these buried there.

2020 — An inside Buildings Department draft report says that “eight-foot-high chain-link fences with lockable gates are viable options” for 16 vacant buildings however recommends demolition of all 16. The Record Storage Building is once more really helpful for “immediate repair.”

June 5, 2021 — The Buildings Department, citing public security, points an emergency order for the “immediate demolition of 18 unsafe and dangerous buildings,” together with the Pavilion, the chapel and the Record Storage Building.

July 1, 2021 — Control of the island is legally transferred to the Parks Department, though the Correction Department continues working the island within the quick time period.

July 14, 2021 — Working to resolve “questions and concerns” in regards to the proposed demolition, the Office of Comptroller Scott M. Stringer approves an amended emergency request from the town to rent a development supervisor to find out the timeline, scope and pricing of the undertaking. To proceed with the demolition on an emergency foundation, the town should nonetheless acquire ultimate approval from the comptroller’s workplace.

Sources: Historic Districts Council; Melinda Hunt; New York City Buildings Department paperwork; New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York City Council; New York City Mayor’s Office.

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