Winners of the “Oscars of Preservation” have been announced and they feature a wide variety of historic structures across New York City. The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award is the highest honor for excellence in preservation awarded by The New York Landmarks Conservancy. Every year the Conservancy recognizes outstanding contributions to the city from individuals, organizations, and building owners. Here, we take a look at the winners of this year’s preservation award, including a Manhattan armory, a historic lighthouse, stunning churches, and more!
In addition to the buildings being honored, Laurie Beckelman, former Chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, will receive the 2023 Public Leadership in Preservation Award. John J. (Jack) Kerr, Jr., attorney, will receive the Preservation Leadership Award in honor of his role in preservation’s most significant legal decisions, and for his work with many nonprofit organizations, including the Conservancy, where he served as Board Chair. Winners will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony on April 19th at 6:00 pm at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan. You can register for tickets to attend the event here.
1. Roosevelt Island Lighthouse, Lighthouse Park
In 1872, the Blackwell’s Island Lighthouse was constructed at the northern tip of the island now known as Roosevelt Island. The beacon was put in place to aid ships navigating the treacherous rocky waters of the East River. It was designed by James Renwick, Jr., architect of the Smallpox Hospital on the island. The 50-foot tall, octagonal lighthouse is made of stone quarried right from the island by inmates of the Penitentiary which once stood on Blackwell’s.
The lighthouse ceased operations in the 1940s. Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, a New York State Authority, led the restoration of the lighthouse, which started in 2021. Work done to the lighthouse entailed repairing the gneiss stone façade, replacing the lantern, and adding colorful architectural lighting. Discover more historic lighthouses of New York here!