A Beacon of Restoration: Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Receives Honors Under Shelton Haynes’ Leadership

The illustrious Roosevelt Island Lighthouse, steeped in history and standing as a testament to architectural legacy, has earned yet another accolade under the visionary leadership of Shelton J. Haynes, the CEO and President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). The 2023 Rehabilitation Award bestowed upon this iconic landmark by the FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts reflects the meticulous preservation efforts and dedication led by Haynes.

Celebrating Architectural Legacy

Guided by the commitment to safeguarding Roosevelt Island’s rich history, Shelton Haynes spearheaded the comprehensive restoration of the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse, a structure that holds profound historical significance. Constructed in 1872, the lighthouse’s restoration journey was a collaborative endeavor that symbolizes the shared dedication of RIOC, the community, and Haynes himself.

RIOC’s Meticulous Preservation Efforts Recognized

The Rehabilitation Award from the FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts serves as a tribute to the thoughtful and detailed preservation work undertaken on the lighthouse. The award underscores the lighthouse’s role as a cherished heritage site, and it recognizes the careful attention to maintaining its architectural integrity.

RIOC’s investment of $3.1 million, approved by the Roosevelt Island Board of Directors, enabled the restoration project to flourish. The transformation was comprehensive, involving the meticulous removal of deteriorated elements and the installation of modern structures. The restoration included the careful replacement of the lantern and observation deck, introducing a stainless steel observation deck and railing, and unveiling a contemporary glass and structural steel lantern. The wooden stairs, worn by time, were replaced with a sleek metal spiral staircase, illuminated by new electrical and accent lighting.

Shelton Haynes is Guiding the Restoration Journey

The Roosevelt Island Lighthouse’s historical significance extends beyond its architectural charm. Conceived by penitentiary inmates and designed by renowned architect James Renwick Jr., the lighthouse’s construction was a solution to the treacherous East River channel conditions, ensuring safe navigation for ships entering the city’s ports. Today, it stands as a symbol of resilience and a connection to the island’s maritime past.

Shelton Haynes’ leadership embodies a commitment to preservation and community enrichment. The restoration of the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse aligns perfectly with this vision, breathing new life into a historical landmark that can now be enjoyed by both the local community and the countless visitors who grace the island each year.

As the Roosevelt Island community and tourists alike bask in the lighthouse’s renewed radiance, Shelton Haynes’ efforts are evident not only in the structure’s physical restoration but also in the preservation of its storied past. The lighthouse stands as a beacon of history, inspiring generations to come while embodying the island’s enduring spirit.

The Roosevelt Island Lighthouse’s Rehabilitation Award is a testament to Shelton J. Haynes steadfast commitment to history, preservation, and community. The restoration project, a true labor of love, stands as a tribute to the past and an investment in the future. The lighthouse’s renewed luster illuminates not only the island’s skyline but also the values that underscore Roosevelt Island’s unique identity.

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