Lighthouse Park Expansion Left to Rubble, Debris and History

Lighthouse Park Expansion Left to Rubble, Debris and History

The Lighthouse Park Expansion, facilitated by a deal Susan Rosenthal, then RIOC‘s leader, cut with the city deteriorates in the autumn sun. It’s three years of unfulfilled promises and no sure future.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

(Above: An old shelter from a now forgotten bus route lingers, broken glass and all in the Lighthouse Park Expansion area. An empty Hennessy bottle takes a spot on the bench.)

Where Roosevelt Island children were once promised places for play, only rocks and debris pile up three years later.

Excited about the possibilities, RIOC then Assistant Vice President Jonna Carmona-Graf invited community input in a session at Good Shepherd Community Center.

But that was January 2020, and a few months later, Carmona-Graf was an early victim of the Shelton J. Haynes era at RIOC. With her went the plans and community ideas, and they have not been seen since.

In January 2020, RIOC brought the community together, making plans for the Lighthouse Park Expansion.
The original site plan for the Lighthouse Park Extension shows the greenspace growing south through the Coler Hosptial parking lots.

Carmona-Graf’s presentation broke the map down into real, active possibilities for the community to consider. Examples from other city parks suggested wide-ranging possibilities.

Where are they now?

The gap between promise and reality widens every season.

One of the debris fields left by RIOC for years.

There is no realistic connection between the plans considered by residents two and a half years ago and this junk heap settled into the soil.

Where is RIOC with the extension? Nobody knows, but in a spring board meeting, RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes mumbled something about building…another parking lot.

That plan is still too ill-conceived – we hope – to become reality, but where is the park?

The Lighthouse Park Expansion Today

Frisbee, anyone?

Stagnant water, dumpsters and grassless fields greet visitors along the East Promenade.

A promise was fulfilled, but then, nothing. The Girl Puzzle opened ten months ago. Now, the sign emphasizes the fact that everything else stalled.
On the fringes, a spray of morning glories hangs on. Will we ever see kids sprinting by or learning about nature?

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6 thoughts on “Lighthouse Park Expansion Left to Rubble, Debris and History

  1. You have all these photos but not one of the, at least 30, abandoned cats that live in that parking lot and on Coler’s property. A few of us feed them each day with no help from the Wildlife Foundation that is supposed to help abandoned animals in RI. The little house that was placed there caved in years ago. Hopefully when anything is constructed in that lot, these poor animals will be taken into consideration.

      1. Maybe that would be a story for you to write one day when you are considering a subject that needs to be addressed.

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