Lighthouse Park
Lighthouse Park
Owner State of New York
Hours of Operation 24/7
Current Status Open for Business
People Come Here For… Outdoor Recreation

Blackwell Island Lighthouse, which is also known as Welfare Island Lighthouse and Roosevelt Island Lighthouse is a stone lighthouse built by New York City in 1872. The lighthouse is approximately 50 feet tall and is constructed of gray gneiss, rough ashlar that was quarried on the island by inmates from the penitentiary that once stood on the island in that era. There is an entrance on the south side under a projecting gable and a pointed Gothic arch leading up to the top of the lighthouse proper, though this entrance is closed to public accrss. Two south-facing slit windows in the shaft light the interior. At the top of the shaft there is a band of ornamented corbels below the gallery, which is surrounded by an iron railing. The lantern is octagonal with a shallow conical roof.

The Lighthouse itself is surrounded by a small but beautifully kept parkland of well manicured grass, wrought-iron trimmed benches and scenic coastal views that are unfortunately marred by New York City's more violent recent history. From the west side of the park, the jagged skyline of Midtown's ruins stands as an unavoidable monument to the catastrophic loss of life felt in the fall of 2006, while the gaping hole in the eastern skyline that once held the candy-cane striped smoke stacks of the Consolidated Edison Power Plant in Queens is a reminder of even more recent terrorist destruction from 2009. Few people who visit the park fail to see the balance in such a well-tended and beautiful parkland flanked by such devastation.

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