Lighthouse Memorial Park
Owner City of New York Established 2020
Purpose Park and Historic Site
Status 24/7

The 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 and was one of the sole structures left standing following the bombing campaign on NYC during the height of the Second American Civil War.

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 across. 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.

At the base of the lighthouse is a plaque indicating the names and ages of SLC-Expressive children who died in the years leading up to and during the Second American Civil War that were under the care of the "Lighthouse", a humanitarian organization that once operated on Staten Island, run by former Ferrymen Brian Fulk. The memorial is a reminder of the dark times that led to the Second American Civil War, and a promise that each life lost would never be forgotten.

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 the Manhattan Exclusion Zone as an unavoidable monument to the catastrophic loss of life from the Second American Civil War, while the revitalized and reconstructed Jackson Heights lies just across the water. Few people who visit the park fail to see the balance in such a well-tended and beautiful parkland flanked by such devastation.

Lighthouse Memorial Park

Additional Info

The Memorial Plaque

"That even one name is inscribed here should shame us all."
Denisa Mendoza, 11
Eric Jenkins, 9
Lucy Tanner, 9
Mala Patel, 12
Bray Michaels, 17
Mackenzie “Fox” Anderson, 13
Cory Mill, 11
Shawn Haynes, 4
Sonya Liu, 10
Celine Wentworth, 6

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