Trail Starts in Albany, Reaches New York

Why build a memorial to Nellie Bly?

Updated 3 weeks ago David Stone
Nellie Bly at 26.
Nellie Bly at 26.
File photo: public domain

"The story of her life continues to serve as an inspiration that transcends history," RIOC President/CEO says, answering our question, "Why build a memorial to Nellie Bly?" The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation synergizes a standing commitment to the "island of art" concept with Governor Cuomo's emphasis on New York State history.

Related: Artists: Help RIOC Spend $500K To Honor Nellie Bly

Rosenthal, a RIOC spokesperson told The Daily, was 'inspired by Governor Cuomo."

The call for artists hoping to be part of a project that will bring a new memorial to the north end of Roosevelt Island was issued last week.

“Nellie Bly's dedication and bravery fostered changes in how disadvantaged and disenfranchised individuals were treated in the late nineteenth century," Rosenthal added.

"She first gained notoriety for exposing the horrors of the insane asylum on Blackwell Island, so what better place to honor her achievements than right here on Roosevelt Island?"

Susan Rosenthal (red scarf) unveiling "The Plinth," a new stop along the Island of Art Trail, last year.
Susan Rosenthal (red scarf) unveiling "The Plinth," a new stop along the Island of Art Trail, last year.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

In 2017, Rosenthal helped spearhead a drive to save a memorial to Alice Childress, another Roosevelt Island pioneer and literary giant.

"One of the things that makes Roosevelt Island great is that it embraces its unique and fascinating past," RIOC explains.

"Celebrating the achievements of a trailblazer like Nellie Bly is an ideal way to commemorate that past. Governor Cuomo has always placed great importance in remembering the history of our state, particularly the role women have played in shaping New York’s history. But honoring an important figure like Nellie Bly doesn’t just align with the governor’s initiatives. It is an idea whose time has finally come."

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