what  sculpture • plaza • eMemorial • app

the sculpture

The sculpture depicts a joyous moment when FDR has turned away from his work to greet a young girl who, like FDR, wears braces on her legs. She has tucked both of her crutches under one arm in anticipation of shaking hands with the president, who we know must be an extraordinary role model for her. Sculptor Meredith Bergmann was inspired by photographs, like the one below, of similar encounters.

As the first major public work of art dedicated to FDR's disability, the sculpture is unique in its frank depiction of FDR’s condition, with a strong upper body, thin, weakened legs, and an energy and confidence in his posture and warmth in his expression that belies his physical challenges.

the plaza

The intertwined history of FDR + Roosevelt Island + polio will be told in a timeline on special granite pavers on the plaza. Learn more about that story.

In addition to FDR and other public figures who have served as examples of how to persevere through personal adversity with dignity, many of us have a friend or family member who is disabled and has similarly inspired us. You can honor your personal hero with a three-line inscription in granite on the plaza. Begin a fundraising page and reach your goal before construction on the Memorial begins.

the eMemorial

The eMemorial will provide profiles of the MyFDR heroes whose inscriptions appear on the plaza. The eMemorial will also list MyFDR heroes whose fundraising pages received donations less than the goal needed for inscriptions to appear on the plaza.

The eMemorial will also enable a better understanding of the history that's described on the granite pavers.

the FDR Hope app

The FDR Hope app will give the same hero profiles and the deeper look into the history as the eMemorial. You can speak or type in a hero’s name and the app will lead you to its location on the plaza.