Goroskop Maia 2012
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History Hopes and Dreams (1965 - 2009)
Hopes and Dreams (1965 - 2009)

Fort Slocum was deactivated on November 30, 1965, and by 1966 all military personnel had left. During the decades that followed, the facilities of the former Army post were neglected and deteriorated severely. Vandalism, fires and lack of maintenance turned most of the buildings into ruined shells of masonry or wood and rendered the utility systems inoperable. The closure of the post had an economic impact on the community of New Rochelle, both from the loss of commerce in the area and from the resources devoted to determining a new use for the island.

 

In 1967 the City of New Rochelle purchased Davids Island for redevelopment. Immediately after the purchase New Rochelle used it for the site of a summer camp for New Rochelle youth. The city also made it available to the moral-evangelical group Moral Re-Armament as the 1967 summer headquarters of its youth-oriented musical performance program “Up With People.” In 1968 Consolidated Edison Company (Con Ed) purchased Davids Island for three million dollars, with a view to building a nuclear power plant there. Con Ed dropped these plans in 1973 and resold the island to New Rochelle in 1976 for $1. In 1977 following 10 years of neglect, New Rochelle designated the island with its remnants of Fort Slocum, as an urban renewal area.

 

Hopes and Dreams (1965 - 2009)

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A visit to the ruins of the Hospital (Building 46) by several members of the Alumni & Friends of Fort Slocum, 2007.

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Groundbreaking for the demolition of Fort Slocum's ruins, marking a new beginning for Davids Island, August 11, 2005. Left to right are New Rochelle Mayor Timothy Idoni, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (NY 18th Dist.), Westchester Co. Exec. Andrew Spano, and Lt. Col. Charles Klinge, Corps of Engineers (photo courtesy Office of U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey).

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Advertisement from Consolidated Edison seeking proposals to buy Davids Island (former Fort Slocum) published in The New York Times, April 14, 1974.

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Flyer opposing redevelopment of Davids Island for luxury residences, circa 1985.

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Union members demonstrating at public meeting in support of a bridge that would have opened Davids Island to redevelopment, 1989 (collection of the Westchester County Histroical Society).

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The "Great Fire" of April 21, 1982, destroyed at least 15 buildings of former Fort Slocum in the northeastern section of Davids Island (Photo by Peter Krupenye, originally published in The New York Times on April 23, 1982).

 

Xanadu Properties Associates proposed to redevelop Davids Island in 1981. Their plans included the construction of a bridge, breakwater for an 800-boat marina, and 2,000 luxury condominium units. However, because of the grand scale of Xanadu’s plans, the proposed development was highly controversial among the public. In 1987 a conservation group called Save Davids Island for the Citizens, comprised of neighboring property owners and concerned Westchester County residents, formed to oppose Xanadu. Further opposition came from state officials concerned about the potential lack of general public access to shoreline areas. In 1992 the City of New Rochelle opted not to extend Xanadu’s status as the designated developer for Davids Island and instead sought new proposals. In response, developer Donald Trump briefly pursued the opportunity to redevelop the island, but the plans were cancelled while still preliminary.

The ruins of Fort Slocum continued to occupy Davids Island into the beginning of the 21st century. The ruins were among the factors complicating redevelopment of the island. Beginning in 2004, however, Congress appropriated funds to remove the ruins through a Defense Department program that assists communities in reusing former defense facilities.


As of 2009 Davids Island is owned by the City of New Rochelle.  What course development of the island will take remains to be seen.  In preparation for future use of the island, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has demolished its buildings and restored it as open space.  Today, Westchester County and the City of New Rochelle look forward to the next chapter in the life of Davids Island.