Above the waters of the
East River at the northernmost stretch of Roosevelt
Island, shines the fifty foot high Lighthouse. It
was built in 1872 by inmates of the penitentiary
with stone extracted from the island.
The Lighthouse was 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 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
demolish and implode boulders and widen and deepen
the channel. Lighthouse Park is now a lovely fishing
and barbecue destination.