David Stone
Blackwell House's front entrance
Blackwell House's front entrance
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

The long delayed process of restoring Blackwell House, Roosevelt Island's historic first residence, to something close to its original condition and making it usable again, was jumpstarted when RIOC's Board unanimously approved a $1.465 million contract to AFL Construction

Signaling her intention of following through on her promise to move needed infrastructure projects forward, RIOC President and CEO Susan Rosenthal oversaw a proposal request process that took the care the restoration of such a landmark deserved.

Two important elements in lining up a reliable contractor for the work were permitting only bidders with proven track records in historic preservation and asking Island Historian Judy Berdy to volunteer as consultant in getting it done.

When the award, which included a 25% contingency to cover unexpected developments, the Board lamented that Berdy, who never gave up on the project over years of frustration, was not on hand to celebrate.

Work is expected to begin in about two weeks.