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Blackwell Island Lighthouse
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Date Established: 1872
Date Present Tower Built: 1872
Height of Tower: 50 ft.
Height of Focal Plane: 56 ft.
Distance from You:
Open to Public?: Grounds only
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DescriptionThe Blackwell Island Light stands at the northern end of what was once called Blackwell's Island when it belonged to the Blackwell family. The city purchased the island in 1828 and began building municipal institutions on the island, including prisons, poor houses and hospitals. Some of the ruins of these early institutional buildings can be seen on the south end of the island. The prison closed in 1935 when Riker's Island opened. The island was renamed Roosevelt Island in 1973 and the plans for community housing projects developed in the 1960's first came to fruition in 1975 when the first complex opened. The lighthouse was built in 1872 and is a 50 foot tall tower. The light was decommissioned in the 1940's and became a city landmark in 1975. The light was partially restored in 1976, a project completed with an anonymous donation in 1998.