Amid the bustling cityscape of New York, the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse stands as a steadfast beacon of history and architectural heritage, recently garnering the prestigious 2023 Rehabilitation Award from the FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. Guided by the leadership of Shelton J. Haynes, President & CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), this iconic landmark has been painstakingly restored, breathing new life into its timeworn structure.

Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Illuminated Once More

Roosevelt Island

A Historic Landmark Rejuvenated For RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Lighthouse, originally constructed in 1872, has witnessed the passage of time and the evolution of the island community. Under the stewardship of Shelton Haynes, the lighthouse has undergone an extensive restoration, culminating in a transformation that preserves its historical essence while ensuring its relevance for generations to come.

Shelton Haynes is Honoring Architectural Heritage

The Rehabilitation Award bestowed upon the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse signifies more than just a physical restoration. It is a tribute to the preservation of architectural heritage, meticulously guided by the vision of Shelton Haynes and his commitment to maintaining the island’s unique character. The award recognizes the dedication to preserving the island’s past and the legacy it carries.

Island Lighthouse

The acknowledgment from the FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts serves as a testament to the dedication invested in this restoration project. The recognition reinforces the significance of the lighthouse not only as a historic site but also as a vital part of the Upper East Side’s architectural fabric.

The restoration of the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse was no solitary endeavor. With a collaborative spirit and a shared sense of purpose, Shelton Haynes, the RIOC Board of Directors, and the island community came together to make this project a reality. The restoration work encompassed an array of elements, including brick and stone removal, door restoration, and the creation of a modern observation deck.

Guided by a Vision for RIOC’s Future

At the helm of this remarkable restoration project was Shelton J. Haynes, a visionary leader who recognized the intrinsic value of preserving the island’s history. His leadership not only ensured the physical revitalization of the lighthouse but also encapsulated the island’s enduring spirit and the promise of a vibrant future.


The Roosevelt Island Lighthouse serves as a bridge between the past and the present, a tangible link to a bygone era. Under the stewardship of Shelton Haynes, the lighthouse stands not only as a restored landmark but as a source of inspiration, connecting the island’s residents and visitors to its rich history.


The Roosevelt Island Lighthouse’s Restoration Award encapsulates the dedication, vision, and collaborative effort led by Shelton J. Haynes. The restoration project is not merely an architectural achievement but a celebration of history and an investment in the island’s future. As the lighthouse beams across the East River, its light serves as a reminder of the island’s enduring heritage and the bright future that lies ahead.

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