18 Places to Discover Innovation in Roosevelt Island and NYC - Atlas Obscura Lists

18 Places to Discover Innovation in Roosevelt Island and NYC

The story of the city that never sleeps is inscribed with a past full of technological innovation, engineering wonders, and scientific discoveries.

Most recognized for its storied past involving places like the infamous Octagon Tower, Roosevelt Island’s revival is signified by its aspiring utopian vision and feats of human ingenuity. Developments like the Roosevelt Island Tramway, the oldest urban commuter tramway in the country, or the complex AVAC system situated underneath the island’s streets are modern-day marvels representative of New York City’s ambition for innovation. 

As New York City has grown, so have the opportunities to innovate and build towards a more sustainable future. One of the places educating the city’s pioneers of the future is Cornell Tech, which opened the doors to its Roosevelt Island campus in the fall of 2017. 

Cornell Tech, a joint institution between Cornell University and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, was primarily designed for graduate students with an interest in science, technology, and business. The partnership was founded to help nurture budding entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders interested in leveraging new technologies to become innovators within their respective fields of study. 

Nestled alongside Cornell Tech is the new Graduate Roosevelt Island, a 224-room boutique hotel that opens its doors in June 2021. The first and only hotel on Roosevelt Island, it’s the perfect place to stay for curious travelers seeking to explore the narrow 139-acre island. The Graduate Hotel’s design takes inspiration from both the history of Roosevelt Island and the future of technology that the Cornell campus embraces. Inspired by the past, present, and future, guest rooms are infused with Americana, Roosevelt Island history, and touches of that Cornell Tech spirit.

Built upon the rich history of Roosevelt Island and the city’s boundless discoveries, this curated list explores our selection of the 18 curious places to visit from New York City’s bold past and innovative future. Travel through Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to explore these places, before returning to Graduate Roosevelt Island for a scholastic retreat in the middle of the East River. Click here to learn more and see how you can book your next stay with Graduate Hotels. 

Graduate Hotels are a hand-crafted collection of hotels that reside in the most dynamic university-anchored towns across the country. Find a location near you here.