There’s a tiny island on the East River that you’ve probably never heard of, and you’re not allowed to visit it.Most people have probably never heard of it but there is a tiny 100 by 200 foot island on the East River in New York City called U Thant Island.
image/text credit: Vox
It’s right below Roosevelt Island and next to the United Nations headquarters and has more history per square foot than most places in Manhattan.It’s origin dates back to the late 19th century when construction of an underground tunnel produced a tiny mound of rock that was originally named Belmont Island, after August Belmont Jr. who financed the construction project.
As waste from the tunnel’s construction built up on a preexisting reef beneath the surface, the island slowly began to emerge above the water level. By the end of the tunnel’s construction a new landmass was born.
A sign was also placed on the island heralding its new name, ensuring that it would stick in the decades to come.Today the island is off-limits but can but eagle-eyed sightseers can view it from shore, or pass beneath it on the 7 train that now operates in the old tunnel.