New York, NY (January 9th, 2018) – North Brother Island, just south of the Bronx, was used as a quarantine island from the 1880s through the 1960s. Although owned by the Parks Department as a public park, there is currently no public access to the site. As a result, the island has been a constant source of intrigue to New Yorkers and beyond.
In 2015, with support from The J.M. Kaplan Fund, PennPraxis developed a conservation and access study for the island with proposals of short, medium, and long-term solutions to enable public access. Randall Mason, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation at PennPraxis, presented the study at our panel discussion while Kristen King, Director of Natural Areas Restoration and Management at the Parks department, offered another view of the island as a bird and forest sanctuary. Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of Historic Districts Council, moderated the panel and Councilmember Mark Levine offered his remarks. We are incredibly grateful to everyone for their participation and interest in this remarkable piece of New York City. We would also like to extend our thanks to Historic Districts Council for co-sponsoring the event.