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Center For Freedom & Human Rights
New York

This project proposes the creation of a new institution for the study and promotion of freedom and human rights. The center is to be located on the site of the existing ruined smallpox hospital designed by James Renwick in 1854, located on the southern end of Roosevelt Island. The site is in a uniquely advantageous position for this mission, adjacent to Louis Kahn’s recently completed Four Freedoms Park, which memorializes FDR’s famous 1941 speech.

The CFHR will provide a setting for an in-depth examination of the Four Freedoms speech contextualized in a broader discussion of human rights. This will be accomplished through temporary and permanent exhibitions, a research library and an event space to be used for education. The building will also house the headquarters of an NGO, an independent, bipartisan organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world.

The initial concept for this project was proposed by a colleague, Paul Lutyens. The concept has been modified in the course of development, in some respects significantly, but the spirit of Paul’s humane and deeply felt ideas remains embedded at the most fundamental level.