Roosevelt Island, NY – April 18, 2023 – Last week members of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) leadership team accepted the 2023 Rehabilitation Award from the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, given in recognition of RIOC’s outstanding work rehabilitating the historic Roosevelt Island Lighthouse. The $3.1 million restoration effort was acknowledged for its “thoughtful and meticulously detailed” work and its preservation of one of New York City’s most storied Landmarks. Accepting the award on behalf of RIOC were Prince Shah, Director of Capital Planning and Projects, and Gretchen Robinson, VP and General Counsel for the Corporation.
“I am incredibly proud of the work our team did to restore the beautiful Roosevelt Island Lighthouse, and I am honored that the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts saw fit to recognize that hard work with this prestigious award,” said RIOC President and CEO Shelton Haynes. “What makes Roosevelt Island so unique is the rich history that dots every corner of our island, from the Lighthouse on down. I believe it’s incumbent upon RIOC to do everything it can to protect and preserve those historic landmarks for our residents today and future generations. Let me again say thank you to the Friends of Upper East Side Historic Districts for this award and thank you to all the outstanding RIOC players who helped bring this beautiful restoration project to life.”
On behalf of RIOC, I want to thank the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts for honoring us with the 2023 Rehabilitation Award,” said Gretchen Robinson, VP and General Counsel. “This project was a major priority for the corporation, and we are thrilled that the community and our island visitors can now enjoy this meticulously restored New York City Landmark for years to come.”
This award for the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse restoration project comes on the heels of recognition from another historic New York entity, The New York Landmarks Conservancy, which gave the project their Lucy G. Moses 2022 Preservation Project Award.
“It was an honor the accept this award on behalf of RIOC and all of my outstanding colleagues who helped us complete this multimillion-dollar rehabilitation project,” said Prince Shah, Director of Capital and Planning Projects. “The community wanted this project to happen for a long time, and it’s a real testament to the leadership of Mr. Haynes and our Executive Team that we were able to complete the work in a relatively short period of time, during a pandemic. Thank you to the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts for this honor.”
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, upon receiving approval from the Roosevelt Island Board of Directors, invested $3.1 million in restoring the 50-foot lighthouse, which was originally built in 1872 and had deteriorated significantly over many decades. Scope of work for the project included brick, stone, and window removal, door restoration, and modifications to the Lighthouse lantern and observation deck, including:
- Removing the deteriorated concrete deck.
- Installing a new concrete ring beam and fluid-applied waterproofing.
- Installing a new stainless steel observation deck and railing.
- Installing a new glass and structural steel lantern.
- Removal of the wood stairs and installation of a new metal spiral staircase and new electrical and accent lighting.
- Site improvements at the Lighthouse include resetting and installing new stone pavers and curb stones, a new concrete beam curb, and new recessed ground lighting and controls.
About the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Tower:
Constructed in 1872 by penitentiary inmates with stone extracted from the island, the Lighthouse was originally designed by James Renwick Jr., architect of the Smallpox Hospital and the Smithsonian Institute. The East River channel's huge granite boulders made it very treacherous for ships to navigate, so the Lighthouse was commissioned as part of a solution for New York City's shipping ports, along with an Army Corps of Engineers project to widen and deepen the channel. Above the waters of the East River, at the northernmost stretch of Roosevelt Island, shines the fifty-foot-high Lighthouse.
About Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC):
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) was created in 1984 by the State of New York as a public benefit corporation with a mission to plan, design, develop, operate, and maintain Roosevelt Island. With a focus on innovative and environmentally friendly solutions, RIOC is committed to providing services that enhance the island's residential community. RIOC manages the two-mile-long island's roads, parks, buildings, a sports facility, and public transportation, including the iconic aerial tramway. Additionally, RIOC operates a Public Safety Department that helps maintain a safe and secure environment for residents, employees, business owners, and visitors.