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Preserving History: Shelton Haynes’ Dedication to Roosevelt Island’s Landmarks



As President & CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), Shelton J. Haynes has demonstrated a deep commitment to preserving the historical landmarks that define the island’s unique character. With a clear understanding of these landmarks’ value to the community, Haynes has spearheaded initiatives to safeguard their legacy for future generations.

The RIOC’s Lighthouse Revival

One of the remarkable achievements under Shelton Haynes’ leadership is the meticulous restoration of the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse. Built in 1872 and standing as a testament to New York City’s maritime history, the lighthouse had fallen into disrepair over the decades. Recognizing its significance as an iconic island symbol, Haynes championed a comprehensive restoration project.

The restoration efforts, led by Haynes and the RIOC, involved sourcing historical documents, conserving the original architectural features, and introducing modern elements that enhance the lighthouse’s functionality. Through this project, Haynes showcases his dedication to blending the island’s rich history with its current aspirations, ensuring that the lighthouse inspires residents and visitors alike.

Recognition from Preservation Organizations

Shelton Haynes’ commitment to preserving Roosevelt Island’s landmarks has garnered recognition from prestigious preservation organizations. The Roosevelt Island Lighthouse received the 2023 Rehabilitation Award from the FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, an organization dedicated to celebrating and safeguarding architectural heritage. This accolade is a testament to Haynes’ unwavering efforts to ensure that the island’s historical treasures are preserved and celebrated on a broader stage.

Shelton Haynes Community Engagement and Appreciation

Haynes’ approach to historical preservation goes beyond mere restoration; it involves engaging the community and fostering a deep appreciation for the island’s heritage. By involving residents in the preservation process, he instills a sense of ownership and pride in the landmarks that shape their daily lives.

Through guided tours, educational programs, and interactive initiatives, Haynes ensures that residents and visitors can connect with the historical significance of the island’s landmarks. This approach transforms historic preservation from a passive endeavor into a vibrant, immersive experience that resonates with all community members.

A Legacy of Preservation

Shelton Haynes’ commitment to preserving Roosevelt Island’s landmarks is a testament to his dedication to community identity and heritage. His visionary leadership restored historical landmarks like the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse to their former glory and transformed them into living symbols of the island’s past, present, and future. As the island’s residents and visitors continue to enjoy these preserved treasures, they are reminded of the enduring legacy that Haynes has cultivated through his unwavering efforts.

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