Lighthouses of the United States: Downstate New York

Rich in waterways, New York is equally rich in lighthouses. This page lists lists lighthouses and lightships of New York's Atlantic coast, Long Island Sound, New York Harbor, and the Hudson River. Lighthouses of Lake Champlain, the St. Lawrence River, Lakes Ontario and Erie, and the New York State Canal system are listed on the Upstate page. In New York Harbor, the Robbins Reef, Great Beds, and Romer Shoal lights, though listed by the National Maritime Inventory under New York and often considered New York lighthouses, are actually in New Jersey waters. In Long Island Sound, the Latimer Reef Light is listed here, since careful study of nautical charts shows it is not in Connecticut, where it is often listed.

Lightships LV-87 Ambrose and LV-115 Frying Pan are berthed in New York City, and WLV-612 Nantucket has been based in New York recently. In addition, the lightship WLV-75 St. Clair was previously in New York, where it had been stripped down and used for many years as a lighter barge.

Although there is no state preservation society, there are many regional and local preservation groups. Lighthouse preservation efforts are particularly strong on Long Island and along the Hudson. The long-planned National Lighthouse Museum opens in August 2014 in the former U.S. Lighthouse Depot on Staten Island.

Navigational aids lower New York State are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard First District, but ownership (and sometimes operation) of historic lighthouses has been transferred to local authorities and preservation organizations in many cases.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. USCG numbers are from Volume I of the USCG Light List.

Old Field Point Light
Old Field Point Light, Brookhaven, Long Island, May 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by hatchski

General Sources
New York Lighthouses
Photos, travel directions, and historical accounts by Kraig Anderson.
Lighthouses in New York, United States
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
New York Lighthouses
A portfolio of photos by Jeremy D'Entremont.
New York Lighthouses
Photos by C.W. Bash.
Online List of Lights - U.S. East Coast
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in New York
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Coast Guard Lighthouses - New York
Historic photos and notes posted by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's office.
Coast Guard ANT New York - Lighthouses
Information on lighthouses maintained by the USCG Aids to Navigation Team New York. The text comes mostly from Anderson's site.
National Maritime Inventory - New York
Inventory of New York lighthouse data.
Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society
The Society's web site has photos and information on each of the lighthouses.
National Lighthouse Museum
The museum is to occupy buildings of the former Lighthouse Depot on Staten Island.
Leuchttürme USA auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images of U.S. lighthouses posted by Klaus Huelse.
Race Rock Light
Race Rock Light, Southold, September 2007
Flickr photo copyright Jeremy D'Entremont; used by permission

Nassau County Lighthouses

Note: Nassau County occupies part of eastern Long Island adjoining the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The county's lighthouses are all on its north coast, which faces Long Island Sound.
North Hempstead Lighthouses
* King's Point
Date unknown. Active (maintained by U.S. Merchant Marine Academy); focal plane 102 ft (31 m); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. This slender, cylindrical light tower is the chimney of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's heating plant, painted white and with a navigation beacon mounted at the top. No photo available, but Google has a good aerial view. The light's purpose is to guide cadets returning from sailing exercises on the Sound. Located on the Academy's campus in King's Point, Great Neck; this location is actually at Elm Point. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Admiralty J0924; USCG 1-27165.
Stepping Stones
1877. Active; focal plane 46 ft; green light occulting every 4 s. 46 ft square cylindrical red brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a square red brick keeper's house; 300 mm lens. Lantern and gallery painted white. Sibling of the Hudson-Athens Light (see below). A photo is at right, a 2008 photo is available, Trabas has a photo, the Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse is gravely endangered by lack of maintenance. In 2006, the lighthouse became available for transfer under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. In 2008, ownership was awarded to the Town of North Hempstead. However, in October 2011, the National Park Service found that the town had done nothing to restore the building, and gave it six weeks to come up with a sharper financial plan. Further negotiations were not successful, and in October 2012 NPS announced that the award of the lighthouse to the town would be rescinded. Instead, the town and the Northeast Lighthouse Preservation Group Ltd. began negotiating a restoration plan, although it appeared that as much as $4 million would be required. In July 2014, town officials announced that restoration will be coordinated by the town in partnership with the Great Neck Park District, with the Great Neck Historical Society raising funds for the effort. Located on a reef in the Sound northwest of Great Neck and opposite City Island in the Bronx. Visible from the Throgs Neck Bridge (I-295), from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point, and from City Island, Bronx. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Town of North Hempstead. ARLHS USA-811; Admiralty J0923; USCG 1-21505.
Sands Point
1809 (Noah Mason and/or Abisha Woodward). Inactive since 1922. 46 ft (14 m) octagonal early Federal brownstone tower. The original lantern was removed in 1922 but replaced later with a wooden lantern and gallery quite different from the originals. 2-1/2 story colonial style keeper's house (1868) attached to the tower by a covered passageway. Anderson's page has a photo showing the large estate on which the lighthouse now stands (also shown is the modern Sands Point Daybeacon, USCG 1-21470). Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has an aerial view. This is the 12th oldest lighthouse in the U.S., but it is certainly the least known of the early towers. The estate and lighthouse were previously owned (1927-1940) by the famous newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. In 2001 the current owners were starting to plan a restoration, but we don't know if it has been accomplished. Located at the end of NY 101 in Sands Point. Site and tower closed (private property). Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-727.
Stepping Stones Light
Stepping Stones Light, Great Neck, September 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by reivax
Execution Rocks
1850 (Alexander Parris). Active; focal plane 62 ft (19 m); white flash every 10 s. 60 ft (18 m) old-style round granite waveswept tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-1/2 story granite keeper's house (1868); solar-powered APRB-251 aerobeacon (1993). Lighthouse painted white with a dark brown horizontal band in the middle; lantern also painted white. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). A photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup photo by Michael Boucher, the Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. A sibling of Mount Desert Rock Light in Maine, this was the last of three old-style waveswept towers designed by the famous architect Alexander Parris (1780-1852). In 2007 the lighthouse was available for transfer under NHLPA, and in 2008 Historically Significant Structures, a new preservation group based in Philadelphia, was selected as the recipient. Ownership was transferred in April 2009. HSS received a state grant of $600,000 for restoration; during 2012 it replaced the roof of the keeper's house and repainted the tower. As of 2013 the keeper's house is open for overnight stays (rustic conditions, and guests must provide their own boat transportation). Note: the red buoy seen in one of Anderson's photos is the unlighted Execution Rocks Shoal East Side Buoy, USCG 1-21455. Located on a rock reef one mile (1.6 km) north of Sands Point, near the center of the Sound. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed except for guided tours offered every other weekend June through September. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: Historically Significant Structures. ARLHS USA-277; Admiralty J0916; USCG 1-21440.
Execution Rocks Light
Execution Rocks Light, Great Neck, May 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by hatchski

Oyster Bay Lighthouse
Cold Spring Harbor (1) (relocated)
1890. Inactive since 1965. 35 ft (10.5 m) square pyramidal wood tower with lantern and gallery, incorporating a very cramped keeper's quarters. The current owner, known to lighthouse fans as Lady Glen, bought it for $1 in 1965, had it towed it to her home and set it up on the lawn. Lighthouse Digest has photos in a November 1995 feature story by Sandra Shanklin, and Bing has an aerial view. The Coast Guard has a historic photo of the light station before relocation. Located in the Plum Point neighborhood of Centre Island (connected by the Centre Island Road causeway to the mainland at Bayville). Site and tower closed (gated community); according to Anderson the tower can be seen from Lloyd Harbor across the bay. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-183.

Suffolk County Lighthouses

Note: Suffolk County includes the eastern 2/3 of Long Island. Stretching eastward from New York City, the island is 118 mi (190 km) long and up to 23 mi (37 km) wide. Its western end includes the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn and the suburbs of Nassau County. At its eastern end, the island divides like a swallow tail into the North Fork and the South Fork, separated by Gardiner's Bay. Long Island Sound to the north separates the island from the state of Connecticut. Suffolk County has more lighthouses than any other U.S. county.
Huntington Lighthouses
[Cold Spring Harbor (2) (original site)]
1965. Active; focal plane 37 ft (11 m); continuous white light (red sector covers dangerous shoal). 25 ft (8 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower mounted on the caisson of the 1890 lighthouse (next entry). Trabas has a photo, and Bing has an aerial view. Located about 100 yards (90 m) off Lloyd Beach in Cold Spring Harbor. Accessible only by boat; good view from West Neck Road. Site and tower closed. Site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. Admiralty J0880; USCG 1-26870.
[Lloyd Harbor]
1857. Inactive since 1912. The lighthouse was replaced by the Huntington Harbor Light in 1912 and destroyed by fire in 1947; its foundation survives. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the lighthouse, and Bing has an aerial view of the station ruins. Located on Lloyd Neck at the northern entrance to Lloyd Harbor. Site appears to be open but may be accessible only by boat. Owner/site manager: unknown. ARLHS USA-1305.
** Huntington Harbor (2)
1912 (station established 1857). Active; focal plane 41 ft (12.5 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 42 ft (13 m) square cylindrical reinforced concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story reinforced concrete keeper's house; 300 mm lens (1967). The building is unpainted concrete; lantern painted black. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). Francesca Giannarttasio's photo is at right, Anderson has a good page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a good photo, Marinas.com has good aerial photos, Google has a very distant street view from the end of Southdown Road in Lloyd Harbor, and Bing has an aerial view. This little lighthouse is unique in its design. Unfortunately, its interior was gutted by fire in 1947, but local preservationists have been working to restore the lighthouse since 1985. The exterior has been restored, the Coast Guard has built a new steel dock, and the interior restoration is nearly complete. In 2010 the lighthouse became eligible for transfer under NHLPA, and in December 2011 it was announced that the lighthouse will be transferred to the preservation society. In March 2012, the society launched a campaign for $350,000 to place boulders to protect the lighthouse. The lighthouse is actually located in the entrance to Lloyd Harbor, although it also marks the entrance to the nearby Huntington Harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site generally closed (no private docking); site and tower open to guided tours on selected Sundays late June through September. Owner/site manager: Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society. ARLHS USA-445; Admiralty J0878; USCG 1-26530.
Eaton's Neck
1799 (John McComb). Active; focal plane 144 ft (44 m); continuous white light. 73 ft (22 m) octagonal fieldstone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-story utility building. A 3rd order Fresnel lens (1856) is in use; it is the only active Fresnel lens on Long Island. Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof red. Fog horn (3 s blast every 30 s). The original keeper's houses were demolished in 1969 and replaced by modern Coast Guard buildings. Trabas has Michael Boucher's photo, Lighthouse Digest has an article on life at the light station and also a more recent article, Ben Romanasky has a view from the Sound, Marinas.com has fine aerial photos, and Bing has an aerial view. This is a treasure: one of only six 18th century lighthouses in the U.S. Some renovations were made in 1999; windows and cornices were repaired and the masonry was patched. Unfortunately, the station grounds have been closed to the public since early 2000. Located at the end of Lighthouse Road in Asharoken. Active Coast Guard station. Site and tower closed; group tours can be arranged. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-264; Admiralty J0872; USCG 1-21325.

Huntington Harbor Light, Huntington, July 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Francesca Giannattasio

Brookhaven Lighthouses
Stratford Shoal (Middle Ground)
1877. Active; focal plane 60 ft (18 m); white flash every 5 s. 35 ft (10.5 m) octagonal cylindrical granite tower with lantern and gallery, attached to the front of a 1-1/2 story granite Gothic Revival keeper's house, mounted on granite caisson; solar-powered VRB-25 lens. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). Building trim and lantern painted white. Anderson's page has great photos, and a 2010 photo is available. Sibling of Race Rock Light, New York. In May 2014 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA. Note: The location of the state line is somewhat uncertain, and there has been some dispute as to whether this lighthouse is in Connecticut or New York. Most maps place it in Connecticut, but it was New York that donated the site for the lighthouse. Located in the middle of Long Island Sound off Bridgeport Harbor. There's a distant view from the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson, New York, ferry. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-1010; Admiralty J0812; USCG 1-21260.
* Old Field Point (2)
1868 (station established 1825). Reactivated (inactive 1933-1991); focal plane 74 ft (22.5 m); flash every 12 s, alternating red and green. 35 ft (10.5 m) wood octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on 2-1/2 story granite keeper's house; FA-251 optic. Light tower and lantern painted black; granite unpainted. The original 1-story stone keeper's house (1824) is also preserved and serves as a village meeting hall. Sibling of Block Island North Light RI. A photo is at the top of this page, Trabas has an excellent photo, Bash has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view. The lighthouse is the residence of the village constable. Close to the edge of the bluff, it may become endangered by erosion in the future. Located near the end of Old Field Road in Old Field, Brookhaven township. Site open (no parking near the site), tower closed. Visible from the Port Jefferson-Bridgeport, Connecticut, ferry. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: Village of Old Field. ARLHS USA-563; Admiralty J0826; USCG 1-21275.

Southold (North Fork) Lighthouses
** Horton Point
1857 (William Sinclair). Reactivated (inactive 1933-1990); focal plane 103 ft (31 m); green flash every 10 s. 58 ft (18 m) square cylindrical stucco-clad brick and granite tower with lantern and gallery, attached to one end of a 2-story stucco-clad brick keeper's house; VRB-25 lens. Entire building painted white; the lantern roof is unpainted green copper. Erik Anestad's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup photo, Doug Kerr has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The building was expanded about 1887, adding the 2-story section between the tower and the original keeper's house. There was a major renovation in 1990, when the tower was restored, reopened and relit. The lighthouse is now a nautical museum; an FA-251 optic (used 1990-1999) and a 4th order Fresnel lens of uncertain origin are on display. The museum was renovated in the winter of 2005-06 prior to celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2007. The lighthouse is the centerpiece of an 8 acre (3.5 ha) town park. Located atop a cliff at the end of Lighthouse Road in Southold. Site open daily, but the parking lot is only open Thursday through Sunday from Memorial Day (late May) through Columbus Day (mid October); museum and tower open (small fee) Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner: Southold Park District. Site manager: Horton Point Lighthouse and Nautical Museum. ARLHS USA-387; Admiralty J0764; USCG 1-21150.
Horton Point Light
Horton Point Light, Southold, August 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Erik Anestad
Orient Point ("Coffee Pot")
1899. Reactivated (inactive 1970-1973); focal plane 64 ft (19.5 m); white flash every 5 s. 46 ft (16 m) round cast iron sparkplug tower with lantern and double gallery, incorporating 3-story round keeper's house; 190 mm lens (1988). Upper half of the lighthouse, including the lantern, painted black, lower half white. Fog horn (two 2 s blasts every 30 s). The tower has a long-standing lean of about 5°. Carol Vinzant's photo is at right, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has an aerial view. Saved from demolition in 1970 by public protests, the lighthouse was renovated by the Coast Guard in 2000. In 2011 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA; when no organizations qualified the lighthouse was placed at auction in September 2012 and sold for $120,000. However, the buyer failed to close on the deal and in June 2013 the lighthouse was again on the auction block; this time it sold for $252,000 to an unknown buyer. Accessible only by boat. Visible from the Orient Point-New London, Connecticut, ferry, or from a 1/2 mile (800 m) hiking trail that rounds the point from Orient Point County Park, at the end of NY 25. Site and tower closed. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-633; Admiralty J0718; USCG 1-21095.
Plum Island (Plum Gut) (2)
1870 (station established 1827). Inactive since 1978. 55 ft (17 m) square cylindrical wood tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the front of 2-story granite keeper's quarters. A 4th order Fresnel lens (1897) from the lighthouse is displayed at the East End Seaport Maritime Museum in Greenport. The brick oil house carried a light on a skeletal tower from 1978 to 1992, but the oil house was lost to beach erosion in 1997. The active light structure (focal plane 50 ft (15 m); white flash every 2.5 s) is a 15 ft (4.5 m) square skeletal tower located near the lighthouse. Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has an aerial view. A sibling of Block Island North Light in Rhode Island, the lighthouse is endangered by beach erosion and neglect and is on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. A restoration effort has been organized by the Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society. Lighthouse Digest profiled this effort in January 2000 and reported on the light station's condition in July. To stabilize the bluff the Corps of Engineers provided 20,000 tons of stone, removed from another Long Island location, which was installed in 2004. The East End Lighthouses group worked on restoration plans; the first steps will be to restore the lantern and bring electric power to the lighthouse. Lighthouse Digest reported on these efforts in October 2004. Management of the island was transferred from the Dept. of Agriculture to the Dept. of Homeland Security in June 2003. In January 2012, DHS requested $1.5 million to repair the exterior of the lighthouse and remove hazardous materials from the site. The animal disease center on the island is scheduled to close by 2021, and thereafter the island may be sold. Located at the west end of Plum Island opposite Orient Point. Visible from the Orient Point-New London, Connecticut, ferry. Site and tower closed (high security area). Owner: U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Site manager: Plum Island Animal Disease Center. ARLHS USA-606; Admiralty J0722; USCG 1-21090.
Orient Point Light
Orient Point Light, Southold, June 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Carol Vinzant
Little Gull Island (2)
1869 (station established 1804). Active; focal plane 91 ft (28 m); 2 white flashes every 15 s. 81 ft (25 m) round granite tower with lantern and gallery; aerobeacon. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). Watch room painted white, lantern roof red; the granite tower is unpainted. The original 2nd order Fresnel lens is displayed at the East End Seaport Maritime Museum in Greenport. The keeper's house was demolished in 1978. D'Entremont has a great photo, and Google has a good satellite view. In 2009 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA; when no organizations qualified the lighthouse was placed at auction in September 2012 and sold for $381,000 -- a high price, considering that there is no house included. The identity of the new owner is not known. Located on Little Gull Island off the east point of Plum Island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-440; Admiralty J0726; USCG 1-19830.
Race Rock
1879 (Francis H. Smith and Thomas A. Scott). Active; focal plane 67 ft (20.5 m); red flash every 10 s. 45 ft (14 m) octagonal cylindrical granite tower with lantern and gallery, rising from one side of a 1-1/2 story granite Gothic revival keeper's house; all mounted on a granite caisson and protected by rip rap; rotating DCB-24 aerobeacon (1979). Lantern painted white, granite unpainted. Fog horn (two 2 s blasts every 30 s). D'Entremont's photo is at the top of this page, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse is on a difficult and dangerous site; construction took 6 years. In 2005 the lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA, and in June 2013 ownership was transferred to the New London Maritime Society. Located on a reef 3/4 mile (1.2 km) west southwest of Race Point, the western tip of Fisher's Island. Accessible only by boat; dangerous waters. Site and tower closed. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: New London Maritime Society. ARLHS USA-681; Admiralty J0686; USCG 1-19815.
North Dumpling (2)
1871 (station established 1849). Reactivated (inactive 1959-1980); focal plane 60 ft (18 m); continuous white light (displays red to the southeast). 31 ft (10 m) octagonal shingled wooden tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 2-story red brick (originally wooden) residence; 300 mm lens (1980). The original lantern has been replaced with a modern lantern room, painted white with a shingled roof. Fog horn (3 s blast every 30 s). Robert English has a good 2006 closeup, D'Entremont has a 2007 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The house was extensively modified from the original in 1980, and its brick facade is modern. The light, which had been moved to a skeletal tower in 1959, was returned to the original tower during the 1980 renovation. Originally a sibling of the Colchester Reef Light in Vermont (Albert Dow, designer). The Coast Guard has a photo showing the light's original appearance. The current owner is Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway; he installed a wind turbine to help power the house and light. Located on a small island between Fisher's Island, New York, and Groton Long Point, Connecticut. Accessible only by boat. Visible from Fisher's Island, which is accessible by ferry from New London, Connecticut. Site and tower closed. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-552; Admiralty J0680; USCG 1-20145.
Latimer Reef
1884. Active; focal plane 55 ft (17 m); white flash every 6 s. 49 ft (15 m) round cast iron sparkplug tower (brick lined) with lantern and double gallery, incorporating 3-story keeper's house and mounted on a concrete caisson; 300 mm lens (1983). Fog bell (2 strokes every 15 s). Tower painted white with a single horizontal brown band; lantern is also white. Anderson has a fine page with excellent photos, Robert English has a 2006 photo, a 2010 photo is available, Trabas has a distant view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. This lighthouse is a sibling of the Stamford Harbor Light in Connecticut. In 2008 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA; when no groups qualified for ownership the lighthouse was sold to an unknown private buyer in August 2010 for $225,000. Located in Fishers Island Sound southwest of Stonington, Connecticut, near the point where the borders of New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island converge. Accessible only by boat; there are distant views from the Connecticut shore. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private; operator: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-1049; Admiralty J0671; USCG 1-20085.
Long Beach Bar ("Bug Light")
1990 reconstruction of 1871 lighthouse (Albert Dow, designer). Reactivated (inactive 1945-1990); focal plane 63 ft (19 m); white flash every 4 s. 65 ft (20 m) wooden octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 2-story square wood keeper's house, all mounted on a concrete foundation (1926) but supported in part by the original (1871) screwpile foundation. 250 mm lens. Lighthouse painted white, including the roof and lantern; lantern roof is black. A photo is at right, Anderson has a page with fine photos, Trabas has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has an aerial view. Sibling of the Colchester Reef Light in Vermont. The original lighthouse was burned by arsonists in 1963. The lighthouse was rebuilt by the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation, which raised $140,000 for the purpose. For several years it was the subject of controversy: a group called East End Lighthouses, founded by a former director of the Museum, contended with the Museum for management rights. In 2005, the Museum and East End Lighthouses reached an agreement; the Museum remained responsible for routine maintenance and repairs and maintains a fund for that work, and East End Lighthouses would have the responsibility for all major repairs and improvements. Both entities have agreed to cooperate in raising funds for the lighthouse. The lighthouse may be endangered by deterioration of the original screwpilings. Located in the entrance to Orient Harbor off Long Beach Point. Accessible only by boat; visible from Orient Beach State Park. Site and tower closed except for occasional tours offered by the museum. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation. ARLHS USA-448; Admiralty J0701.5; USCG 1-27975.

Long Beach Bar Light, Orient Harbor, July 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Photo GEM

East Hampton (South Fork) Lighthouses
* Cedar Island (2)
1868 (station established 1839). Inactive since 1934. 40 ft (12 m) square cylindrical granite tower with lantern and gallery, attached to one corner of a 2-1/2 story granite keeper's house. Active light (focal plane 57 ft (17 m); green flash every 4 s) on a square cylindrical steel skeletal tower. Brick oil house (1902). Interior of the lighthouse gutted by fire in 1974. Endangered by neglect and in very poor condition. Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. A photo is at right, a 2009 photo is available, and Bing has an aerial view. In the late 1990s, a Cedar Island Lighthouse Committee formed to work for preservation and restoration, but an August 2000 Lighthouse Digest story reported the building remained in very bad condition. In March 2002, the Long Island Chapter and Suffolk County Parks announced a joint effort to restore the lighthouse, and in August Lighthouse Digest carried a full report on the site. In spring 2003 some preliminary work was beginning in the lighthouse. In early 2004 the oil house was restored, and later that year an architectural firm was studying the lighthouse. The engineering report was submitted in early 2006, but there's been no progress since. In June 2008, the Long Island Chapter announced a new fund raising effort for the lighthouse. In 2010 the Cedar Island Restoration Project was announced. An engineer estimated that about $1 million was needed just for exterior repairs. In November 2013 the lantern was removed and transported to Sag Harbor for restoration. In June 2014 Suffolk County extended the license of the preservation committee and it was announced that a B&B was planned for the lighthouse once it is restored. Located on Cedar Point (the former Cedar Island has been joined to the mainland since 1938) northeast of Sag Harbor. Accessible by a hike of about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) each way. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Suffolk County. Site manager: Cedar Point County Park. ARLHS USA-147; Admiralty J0702; USCG 1-28245.
Cedar Island Light
Cedar Island Light, Sag Harbor, September 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Boats-n-Cars
** Montauk Yacht Club
About 1930. Active (?) (no longer official; maintained by the club); focal plane 65 ft (20 m); continuous white light. 60 ft (18 m) octagonal brick tower, painted white, with white-shingled watch room, octagonal lantern, and two galleries, attached to a large yacht club complex. A 2010 photo is available, Trabas has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view. This is one of the oldest privately built and maintained lighthouses in the U.S. It was built by Carl Fisher as part of a resort development that also included dredging a canal to connect Lake Montauk with Block Island Sound, creating a large protected anchorage. The tower houses meeting rooms. The light never had much navigational value, and it was deactivated during summer 2011; it continues to be charted as a daybeacon. Located on Star Island in Lake Montauk. Accessible via the Star Island Road causeway off West Lake Drive in Montauk. Site and tower open. Owner/site manager: Montauk Yacht Club. ARLHS USA-1308; Admiralty J0697; ex-USCG 1-19985.
**** Montauk Point
1797 (John McComb). Active; focal plane 168 ft (51 m); white flash every 5 s. 110 ft (33.5 m) octagonal sandstone tower with lantern and gallery; VRB-25 aerobeacon (2001). Tower painted white with a broad brown band, lantern black. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). The keeper's house (1860) is used as a visitor center and museum; displays include the 3-1/2 order Fresnel lens used 1904-1987, also two 4th order Fresnel lenses and a 5th order lens, all of uncertain origin. An older 2-story brick keeper's house (1838) was converted to a barn and later to a garage. The oil house, fog signal building (1897), and other structures are also preserved. A photo appears at right, the Long Island Genealogy Home Page has a history of the light station, Anderson has a good page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a closeup photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view. This is a historic and well-loved lighthouse, the oldest in New York and fifth oldest in the United States. There was a major restoration of the tower in 1998-99. A modern visitor center was completed in 2005, and there are plans to restore the exterior of the 1838 keeper's quarters. The light station is endangered by beach erosion, previously held at bay by a 400 ft (120 m) stone revetment built in 1992. In 2006, the Army Corps of Engineers received $12 million in funding to build a much longer and stronger barrier. In March 2012, the light station was designated a National Historic Landmark. Located on Turtle Hill at the tip of Montauk Point (end of NY 27), the easternmost tip of Long Island. Site open; museum and tower open daily in the summer, weekends and holidays spring and fall. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: Montauk Historical Society. ARLHS USA-512; Admiralty J0690; USCG 1-0660.
Montauk Point Light
Montauk Point Light, East Hampton, June 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by AudreyH

Southampton Lighthouse
* Shinnecock (Ponquogue, Great West Bay) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1858). Active; focal plane 75 ft (23 m); 2 red flashes every 15 s. The light is on a tall triangular Coast Guard skeletal communications tower similar to a TV transmission tower. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). The original lighthouse, a 160 ft (41 m) brick tower similar to the Cape May NJ lighthouse, was deactivated in 1931 and dynamited by the Coast Guard in 1948: a tragic loss. The oil house survives. Fog horn (2 s blast every 15 s). This is an active Coast Guard station. Lighthouse Digest has an article on the lighthouse and its destruction, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view. Located on Ponquogue Point on the mainland, near the Ponquogue Bridge and about a mile northwest of Shinnecock Inlet. Site open. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-755; Admiralty J0998; USCG 1-0675.

Islip Lighthouse
**** Fire Island (2)
1858 (station established 1826). Reactivated (inactive 1974-1986, now maintained by the park service); focal plane 180 ft (55 m); white flash every 7.5 s, day and night. 168 ft (51 m) round tapering cement-clad brick tower with lantern and gallery; rotating DCB-224 aerobeacon (1986). Tower painted with four bands, alternating black and white; lantern black. The original 1st order Fresnel lens (1858-1939), previously on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, is now displayed in a special building on site. 2-story stone keeper's quarters. A 4th order Fresnel lens of uncertain origin is displayed at the visitor center. Foundations of the 1826 lighthouse (a 74 ft (22.5 m) stone octagonal) remain visible. Stone from that tower was used to build the terrace of the 1858 lighthouse. A photo is at right, Anderson has a good page, the National Park Service also has a page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a sunset photo by Klaus Potschien, the preservation society has a slide show of photos by Art Noble, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a fine aerial view. This is the tallest New York lighthouse. Plans to demolish the lighthouse in 1981 led to the start of preservation efforts. In 2000, Congress appropriated $350,000 for structural repairs to the tower and improved exhibits. The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society has worked for preservation and restoration of the lighthouse since 1982; the society leased the light station from the Coast Guard in 1996. In 2001, the Coast Guard agreed to return the 1st order Fresnel lens for display, and in early 2007 the crated lens arrived. FILPS developed a plan to exhibit it in a reconstructed powerhouse building, and in 2011 the restoration and reassembly of the lens was completed; the new building housing the lens was dedicated in July. An August 2011 photo of the lens is available. In 2005, the Coast Guard announced plans to replace the DCB-224 with a weaker solar-powered strobe light. FILPS protested this plan, and in February 2006 the Society signed an agreement to take over ownership and maintenace of the aerobeacons and their backup generators. Following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the light station was closed for almost a year. During the closure the exterior was restored and the concrete coating was replaced. Located at the west end of the Fire Island National Seashore in Saltaire. Accessible year-round by a walk of about one mile (1.6 km) from the Field 5 parking area at Robert Moses State Park; also accessible in season by passenger ferry from Bay Shore to Saltaire. Site open; visitor center and museum open daily (afternoons only during the winter); tower open to guided tours daily provided volunteer guides are available. Owner/operator: U.S. National Park Service. Site manager: Fire Island National Seashore. ARLHS USA-286; Admiralty J1016; USCG 1-0695.
Fire Island Light
Fire Island Light, Saltaire, 4 July 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Neil R.

New York City Lighthouses

Note: The City of New York covers five counties, also called boroughs. Kings County (Brooklyn) and Queens County are on the western end of Long Island. Bronx County is on the mainland to the north. New York County (Manhattan), the heart of the city, occupies an island separated from Long Island by the East River and from New Jersey by the Hudson River. Richmond County (Staten Island) lies to the southwest, across Upper New York Bay and close to the New Jersey shore.
Brooklyn Lighthouses
* Kingsborough Community College
1990. Active (maintained by the college); focal plane 115 ft (35 m); white flash every 4 s. Conical skeletal tower mounted atop the 3-story circular brick Marine Academic Center. Trabas has a good photo, and Google has an aerial view. The college has adopted the lighthouse as its logo. Located off Oriental Avenue in the Manhattan Beach section of Brooklyn, marking the north side of Rockaway Inlet. Site open. Owner/site manager: Kingsborough Community College. Admiralty J1096.5; USCG 1-34360.
Coney Island (Norton Point)
1890. Active; focal plane 75 ft (23 m); red flash every 5 s, day and night. 75 ft (23 m) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern, gallery, and round central cylinder; 190 mm lens (1989). The original 4th order Fresnel lens is on display at the South Street Seaport. Lighthouse painted white, lantern black. 2-story wood keeper's house (1896). C.W. Bash's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup photo by Klaus Potschien, Wikipedia has Jim Henderson's view from the harbor, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Frank Schubert, the last keeper, retired officially in 1989 but continued to live in the house and look after the property until his death on in December 2003. He had served 43 years at Coney Island. The Schubert family has a web site for the lighthouse. This lighthouse and its twin at Throg's Neck were the first in a series of shorter skeletal towers; similar lights were built at Point Loma in California, Plum Island and La Pointe in Wisconsin, and Duluth Harbor in Minnesota. Coney Island Lightkeepers, an organization started by the Schuberts, works for the restoration and maintenance of the light station. Lighthouse Digest has printed recollections of an earlier keeper's daughters. Located off Surf Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets in the Sea Gate neighborhood. Site and tower closed (gated neighborhood). Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Coney Island Lightkeepers. ARLHS USA-187; Admiralty J1106; USCG 1-34910.
#Lightship 84 (WAL-509) St. Johns
1907 (Camden NJ: New York Shipbuilding Co.). 135 ft (41 m) 2-masted steel lightship. Decommissioned 1965. The ship is sunk at its berth. Until recently its masts were above water; Scott Koen has a photo, and there's a web page for the wreck with several photos showing the masts. The masts have now been removed, and Google's satellite view no longer shows them. The ship served off the Georgia coast as the Brunswick until that station was discontinued in 1929. LV-84 was then transferred to the St. Johns station off Jacksonville, Florida, for the next 25 years. In 1968, the ship was donated to a seaman's school in Piney Point, Maryland, where it was named the Big Red. In 1987, it was sold and towed to Yonkers, New York, to be a floating restaurant. It sank in 1997; in recent years the New York Police Department has used it as a practice site for scuba teams. Located at an old pier at the end of Richards Street in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. Site closed.
Coney Island Light
Coney Island Light, Brooklyn, July 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by C.W. Bash

Queens East River Lighthouse
Whitestone Point (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1889). Active; focal plane 56 ft (17 m); quick-flashing green light. 52 ft (16 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower. Trabas has a photo, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has an aerial view. Sometime after 1908, one or more skeletal towers replaced the original ornate Victorian square pyramidal wood tower. Located just off Whitestone Point, Queens, near Second Avenue and 149th Street, about 0.3 mile (500 m) east of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge (I-678). Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-889; Admiralty J0936; USCG 1-27215.

Bronx East River Lighthouses
* Throg's Neck (5)
1934 (station established 1827). Active; focal plane 60 ft (18 m); continuous red light. Approx. 56 ft (17 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house (1884) provides housing for a college faculty member. Trabas has a photo by Michael Boucher (also seen at right), and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was replaced in 1835 by a "temporary" light on the wall of Fort Schuyler. A proper lighthouse, a 62 ft (19 m) pyramidal skeletal tower, was finally built in 1890, but replaced in 1905 by a 35 ft (11 m) brick tower because the taller light was found to be in the line of fire of the fort's batteries. The Coast Guard has a historic photo of the keeper's house with the pyramidal skeletal lighthouse of 1890-1905. Located on the campus of the State University of New York Maritime College, at the entrance to the East River from Long Island Sound, and practically in the shadow of the Throgs Neck Bridge (I-295). Site open. Operator: U.S. Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: SUNY Maritime College. ARLHS USA-846; Admiralty J0934; USCG 1-21520.
[North Brother Island]
1869. Inactive since 1953. Originally an octagonal wood tower rising from 1-story wood keeper's quarters. Sibling of Colchester Reef VT. The lighthouse has completely collapsed, leaving only the brick oil house standing. The fog bell from the station is displayed at the New York City Police Department's Harbor Unit at College Point. An active light (focal plane 33 ft (10m); green flash every 4 s) is shown from a skeletal tower mounted on a square pier just off the former lighthouse site. The Digest also has a May 2004 article on life at the station, the Coast Guard has a historic photo showing the light station in better days, and Google has a satellite view. The light station has been on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List, but doomsday has come for it. The island, formerly the site of a city hospital, is located in the East River between Riker's Island and the Bronx. The light station site is at the northern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: City of New York. ARLHS USA-551; Admiralty J0956; USCG 1-27245.
Throgs Neck Light
Throgs Neck Light, Bronx
photo copyright Michael Boucher; used by permission

Manhattan East River Lighthouses
* Blackwell Island
1872 (James Renwick, Jr.). Inactive since the 1940s (a decorative light is displayed, and the tower is charted as a daybeacon). 50 ft (15 m) octagonal cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery. The tower is unpainted gray stone; lantern painted black. Wally Gobetz's photo is at right, another closeup is available, Kathi Kaiser has a view from the river, and Google has an aerial view and a distant street view from FDR Drive. The lighthouse was built for the city of New York by convicts from the city's former Blackwell Island Prison. The lighthouse was restored in 1998, thanks to an anonymous $120,000 donation to the city. Roosevelt Island, known as Blackwell Island originally and then as Welfare Island from 1921 to 1973, is a narrow island in the East River, 2 miles (3.2 km) long but no more than 800 ft (240 m) wide. The island is part of the borough of Manhattan, but access is by a bridge at the foot of 36th Street in Queens. Located in Lighthouse Park at the north end of the island. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: City of New York Parks and Recreation. ARLHS USA-1041.
Roosevelt Island Reef (U Thant Island, Belmont Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 57 ft (17 m); green flash every 4 s. 43 ft (13 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower mounted on a square 1-story white concrete base. Trabas has a closeup photo by Michael Boucher, the light appears at the far right of a photo taken from the United Nations headquarters, and Bing has an aerial view. The island, known officially as Belmont Island, was built with dirt excavated from a subway tunnel under the river; it was named unofficially for U Thant, the UN Secretary General from 1961 to 1971. Located on an islet about 1300 ft (400 m) downstream from the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, opposite the United Nations. Accessible only by boat but easy to see from shore. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. Admiralty J0990; USCG 1-27315.
* Titanic Memorial
1913. Inactive since 1967. 60 ft (18 m) round steel tower surmounted by a pole carrying a time ball. Entire lighthouse painted white. A closeup photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. From 1913 to 1967, the time ball dropped each day to signal 12 noon to ships in the harbor. The lighthouse was relocated in 1976 from the top of the Seaman's Institute on South Street to the entrance to the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan. Located at the intersection of Fulton and Water Streets. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: South Street Seaport. ARLHS USA-1229.
**** Lightship 87 (WAL-512) Ambrose
1907. Decommissioned 1967. 2-masted steel lightship, length 113 ft (34 m), beam 29 ft (7 m). Xiqin Ma has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view. The ship served the Ambrose station until 1933, and then it served on the Scotland station off Sandy Hook. LV-87 is the only surviving ship of its class and one of the oldest surviving U.S. lightships. The ship has been moored at South Street Seaport since 1968. The deck was replaced in 1995. In January 2012 the ship was towed to a Staten Island shipyard for much-needed repairs; it returned to its regular berth in March. Guided tours daily (admission fee). Owner/site manager: South Street Seaport. ARLHS USA-008.


Blackwell Island Light, East River, July 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Wally Gobetz


Governors Island Lighthouses
Note: Governors Island is a 172 acre (70 ha) island located in Upper New York Bay about 1/2 mile (800 m) south of the southern tip of Manhattan. The island is accessible on summer weekends by passenger ferries from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan and from Pier 6 in the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn.
* Governors Island (Castle Williams) (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1888). Active; focal plane 75 ft (23 m); two continuous red lights, one above the other. Approx. 20 ft (6 m) square skeletal tower mounted atop the walls of Castle Williams. Skeletal tower painted red. Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has a photo, and Google has an aerial view. Governors Island is a 172 acre (70 ha) island south of the southern tip of Manhattan in the entrance to the East River from Upper New York Bay. The island is accessible by ferry from the Battery Maritime Building on Manhattan. Castle Williams is a circular sandstone fort completed in 1811. The fort successfully deterred any British attack on New York during the war of 1812; later it served for many years as a military prison. According to Findlay's Lighthouses of the World, there was a fog bell at the fort in 1879, but no light. (The fog signal building was at ground level; it has been demolished.) A U.S. Lighthouse Service 1935 report gives 1888 as the date of establishment for the light. The original light was similar in size and form to the present one. Located at the northwestern tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: U.S. National Park Service (Governors Island National Monument). Admiralty J1126; USCG 1-35010.
* Governors Island Extension (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 47 ft (14.5 m); continuous red light. Approx. 43 ft (13 m) square skeletal tower with a concrete central column and a small enclosed shed in the base, adjacent to a square 1-story equipment building. Skeletal tower painted red; the central column and equipment building are white. Trabas has a photo, and Google has an aerial view. The word "extension" refers to the extension of the island southward by fill from subway excavations early in the 1900s. The light was established by contractors building the island; the Lighthouse Board accepted it in 1912. Located at the southwestern tip of the island, across the harbor from the Statue of Liberty. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J1120; USCG 1-35000.

Upper New York Bay Lighthouses
Note: By several odd twists of history, Liberty Island is part of New York even though the surrounding waters are part of New Jersey. For this reason the Statue of Liberty is considered to be a New York lighthouse while the nearby Robbins Reef Light is a New Jersey lighthouse. To avoid this geographical confusion, both lighthouses are described on both pages.
**** Statue of Liberty
1886 (Auguste Bartholdi). Inactive as a lighthouse since 1902. This 305 ft (93 m) monumental sculpture certainly needs no description. Google has a street view and an aerial view. The torch of the statue was originally designed as a navigation beacon, and it was so used until 1902. The Statue of Liberty is one of America's best known symbols and a very popular destination for tourists. Closed after the 9/11 attacks of 2001, the interior of the statue reopened in August 2004. The statue was closed again after its base was flooded by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012; it reopened on Independence Day, 4 July 2013. Located on Liberty Island (formerly Bedloe's Island) in New York Harbor off Jersey City. Although it is surrounded by New Jersey waters, the island is administered by New York. Accessible by passenger ferry (toll) from Battery Park, Manhattan, and from Liberty State Park, Jersey City. Site and statue open daily. Owner: U.S. National Park Service. Site manager: Statue of Liberty National Monument.
Robbin's Reef (Kate's Light)
1883. Active; focal plane 56 ft (17 m); green flash every 6 s. 45 ft (14 m) cast iron sparkplug tower with lantern and double gallery, incorporating 3-story keeper's quarters, mounted on a granite caisson; 300 mm lens. Lower half of lighthouse painted brown, upper half white, lantern black. J. Stephen Conn's photo is at right, Trabas has a photo, Tom Link has another good photo, Patrick Dirden has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse is in New Jersey waters. The lighthouse is nicknamed for Kate Walker (1846-1931), its legendary keeper, who tended the light from 1894 to 1919. In 2009 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA, and in 2010 the National Park Service approved its transfer to the Noble Maritime Collection, a Staten Island museum; the museum has established a page for the lighthouse. Located off Bayonne, about 2 miles (3 km) southwest of the Statue of Liberty. The lighthouse is a familiar sight for passengers of the Staten Island Ferry, which crosses Upper New York Bay to Manhattan (Conn's photo at right was taken from the ferry). Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-695; Admiralty J1156; USCG 1-34975.
Robbin's Reef Light
Robbins Reef Light, Upper New York Bay, June 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by J. Stephen Conn

Staten Island Lighthouses
Note: Staten Island is the least populous borough of New Your City, with a population of about 475,000. The island separates Upper New York Bay from Lower New York Bay; the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge spans the passage between the two basins, joining Staten Island to Brooklyn. The island is separated from New Jersey by narrow straits, Kill Van Kull on the north and Arthur Kill on the west.
#Lightship LV-75 St. Clair
1902. Deactivated 1939. 84 ft (25.6 m) steel lightship; the light was shown from a single mast. The lighthouse had no engine. Built by the Johnson Boiler Co. of Ferrysburg, Michigan, the ship served its entire career on Lake St. Clair near Detroit, Michigan. After retirement, it was stripped of its mast and superstructure and served as a barge on the New York State Canal; later it was in use as a lighter in New York harbor. In the early 2000s it was moored at the Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Co. on Kill Van Kull, the channel along the northern edge of Staten Island. There are photos of it there as late as 2006, but according to the Lightship Sailors Association it is no longer there and its whereabouts are unknown. It is unlikely that this ship survives. ARLHS USA-998.
* Fort Wadsworth
1903. Reactivated (inactive 1965-2003, now unofficial and maintained by the National Park Service). 20 ft (6 m) cylindrical lantern, painted white, atop a 1-story square red brick workroom. No keeper's quarters. Robert English has a good photo, D'Entremont has a photo, Wikimedia has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Google has a distant street view (with the Manhattan skyline in the background), and Bing has an aerial view. Long in disrepair, the light spent years on the Doomsday List. In 2002, Joe Esposito began a personal campaign to restore the abandoned lighthouse, and for several years he spearheaded restoration work by crews of volunteers. Unfortunately, Esposito died in 2005, several months before the tower was relit on September 24. Located on the ramparts of Battery Weed, Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island, almost in the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (I-278). Site open; fort's visitor center open Wednesday through Sunday; tower closed. Owner: U.S. National Park Service. Site manager: Gateway National Recreation Area. ARLHS USA-301.
* Elm Tree (Swash Channel Range Front) (2)
1939 (station established 1856). Inactive since 1964. 65 ft (20 m) square cylindrical concrete tower with rounded corners. The tower is unpainted. The keeper's house has been demolished. C.W. Bash has a 2008 photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view. The original lighthouse, a hexagonal wood tower, was deactivated and demolished in 1939. The light was moved to this bland building, which carried a green aviation beacon as well as a white navigation light for mariners. Both lights were discontinued in 1964 and the tower has been abandoned since then. Located at the southeast end of New Dorp Avenue, Staten Island, in Miller Field, a former U.S. Army air field. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. National Park Service. Site manager: Gateway National Recreation Area. ARLHS USA-272.
* Swash Channel Range Front (3?)
1939 (?). Active; focal plane 80 ft (24 m); continuous white light. Approx. 52 ft (16 m) square skeletal tower. Trabas has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view. The rear light is on the tower of the Staten Island lighthouse (see below). Located in Oakwood Beach Park off the end of Roma Avenue, a little less than a mile (1.5 km) southwest of the former location. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J1082.1; USCG 1-35030.
* New Dorp (Swash Channel Range Rear)
1856. Inactive since 1964. 40 ft (12 m) square wood cylindrical tower centered on the roof of a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house. C.W. Bash has a 2008 photo, and Bing has an aerial view. The light, previously shown through a window at the top of the tower, was moved to the Staten Island Light (see below) in 1964. The present owner, John Vokral, bought the abandoned building for $32,000 in 1974 and has restored it to its original appearance. He operates a civil engineering consulting business in the house. Located at 25 Boyle Street, off Richmond Road in the Richmondtown section of Staten Island. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-537.
* Staten Island Range Rear
1912. Active; focal plane 231 ft (70 m); continuous white light, day and night, seen only along the Staten Island Range line; also a second continuous white light, focal plane 225 ft (68.5 m), seen only along the Swash Channel Range line. 90 ft (27 m) octagonal brick tower with lantern and gallery; original 2nd order Fresnel lens mounted in the lantern. Lantern painted black; tower is unpainted yellow brick. The brick keeper's house is a private residence. Steven Volante's photo is at right, C.W. Bash has a 2008 photo, Trabas has a closeup photo by Michael Boucher, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This architectural landmark is one of the last brick lighthouses built in the U.S. A preservation group has leased the tower, but the rest of the property is privately owned. The light's longtime caretaker Joe Esposito retired in 2001, turning his attention thereafter to saving the Fort Wadsworth Light (see above). Located at 398 Edinboro Road, off Richmond Hill Road near La Tourette Park in the Richmondtown section of Staten Island. Site and tower closed (surrounded by private property), but the lighthouse can be seen from the street. Owner (tower): U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Staten Island Lightkeepers. ARLHS USA-809; Admiralty J1082; USCG 1-34795 (Staten Island Light) and 1-35035 (Swash Channel Range Rear Light).

Staten Island Range Rear Light, Staten Island, May 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Steven Volante
West Bank (Staten Island Range Front)
1901. Active; focal plane 69 ft (21 m); red light to the east and white to the west, 3 s on, 3 s off; higher intensity white light on range line. 55 ft (17 m) round cast iron sparkplug tower with lantern and gallery, including a 3-story round keeper's quarters, mounted on a cast iron caisson. Lighthouse painted brown, caisson black. The original 4th order Fresnel lens was removed in 1998. Fog horn (two 2 s blasts every 20 s). D'Entremont has a closeup photo, Trabas has another closeup by Michael Boucher, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. In 2007, the lighthouse was available for transfer under NHLPA, but no suitable recipients were identified. In 2008 the lighthouse was sold at auction; a portfolio of photos taken during an inspection by prospective buyers is available. The auction closed on August 27 with a high bid of $245,000. However, this deal did not close. In 2010 the lighthouse was back up for auction, and in September it was sold again, this time for $195,000. The buyer, Sheridan Reilly, estimated that it would cost $50,000 just to clean the interior of bird droppings and seal the structure. Located on a reef off South Beach, Staten Island. Accessible only by boat. There are distant views from New Dorp Beach, Staten Island, and from Coney Island, Brooklyn. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-876; Admiralty J1081.9; USCG 1-34790.
#Old Orchard Shoal
1893. Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. 45 ft (14 m) round cast iron sparkplug tower including 3-story round keeper's quarters, mounted on cast iron caisson; 250 mm lens. Lantern and upper 2/3 of the lighthouse painted white, lower 1/3 and caisson black. D'Entremont's photo is at right, Trabas has a good photo by Michael Boucher, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. Until the 1950s this lighthouse served as the front range light of the Waackaack Range. In 2007, the lighthouse was available for transfer under NHLPA, but no suitable recipients were identified. In 2008 the lighthouse was sold at auction for $235,000. The high bidder was not identified, and an unsuccessful bidder sued to stop the sale. In September 2010 the lighthouse was auctioned again, and this time the high bid was only $40,000. The government rejected this bid as being below the minimum value of the propery, so a third auction was held and a high bid of $95,000 was secured in December. Sadly, the lighthouse was completely swept away by the record storm surge of Hurricane Sandy on 29 October 2012. The National Lighthouse Museum hopes the salvage the remains, which were discovered after an intensive search in June 2013. Located on a reef off Great Kills Harbor, Staten Island. Accessible only by boat; there is (or was) a distant view from Great Kills Park, Staten Island. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-565; ex-Admiralty J1074; ex-USCG 1-35395.
* Princes Bay Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 70 ft (21 m); quick-flashing red light. 69 ft (21 m) square skeletal tower, painted white. The tower also carries a rectangular daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has an aerial view. The rear light is on a short post. Located on the shoreline about 240 ft (75 m) east of the historic Princes Bay Light (next entry). Site and tower closed. Admiralty J1057; USCG 1-36190.

Former Old Orchard Shoal Light, Raritan Bay, October 2008
Flickr photo copyright Jeremy D'Entremont; used by permission
* Princes Bay (2)
1868 (station established 1828). Inactive since 1922 (briefly reactivated in 2010). 40 ft (12 m) round brownstone tower with gallery, lantern removed, attached to a 2-1/2 story Gothic brownstone keeper's house. The Prince's Bay Range Rear Light is on a short mast nearby. Lighthouse Explorer has a photo by Jim Crowley, Trabas has a photo, and Bing has an aerial view. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the lighthouse when it was active. For many years the keeper's house was a Catholic children's home operated by the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin, and a statue of the Virgin Mary stood atop the tower. In 1999 the Trust for Public Land purchased 194 acres (78.5 ha), including the light station, from the Archdiocese of New York. Between 1999 and 2002 the state of New York paid $25 million in several installments to acquire the property as a nature preserve. If funding can be found, the lantern may be restored in the future. The light was restored for a short time in 2010; probably it confused mariners following the range. Located at 6581 Hylan Boulevard near the southwestern tip of Staten Island. Site and tower closed, but the preserve is open and visitors can view the light station from nearby; there is a trail from the parking area for the preserve. Owner: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Site manager: Mount Loretto Unique Area. ARLHS USA-673; ex-Admiralty J1056; ex-USCG 1-36193.

Manhattan Hudson River Lighthouses
* Lightship LV-115 Frying Pan
1913. Decommissioned 1965. 630-ton steel ship, originally with two masts, length 133 ft (40.5 m), beam 30 ft (9 m). The aft mast has been removed. Anderson's page has photos, the Coast Guard has the ship's history, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The ship served at Frying Pan Shoals off Wilmington, North Carolina, and off the Delaware Capes. After deactivation the ship sank twice: at Wilmington in the 1970s and at Whitehaven, Maryland, in 1983. The present owner, John Krevey, rescued the ship from Whitehaven when he bought it in 1987. After two years of restoration work in Baltimore and Philadelphia and installation of a new engine, the ship arrived in New York in 1989. The vessel remains operational, and it sailed out into the harbor for OpSail 2000. Moored at Pier 66, near 23rd Street, Manhattan, this is one of one of several historic vessels in the city's new Hudson River Park. Site open; the vessel can be rented for special events, and tours can be arranged. Owner: private. Site manager: Frying Pan Lightship Restoration. ARLHS USA-311.
** Jeffrey's Hook ("Little Red Lighthouse")
1880 (originally at Sandy Hook Point, New Jersey; relocated to the present site in 1921). Reactivated (inactive 1947-2002, now maintained by the City of New York); white light, 1 s on, 2 s off. 40 ft (12 m) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted red; lantern painted white; 300 mm lens. The Jeffrey's Hook station was established in 1889 with two small lanterns hung on a post. The present lighthouse was made famous by a children's book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge (1942). A photo is at right, Ann Searle has great photos of the lighthouse dwarfed by the great bridge, Trabas has a photo by Michael Boucher, and Google has a street view and a good satellite view. The tower was repainted by the New York Landmarks Conservancy in 2000. The New York Historic House Trust held a ceremony to relight the lighthouse on 19 September 2002. Located in the shadow of the George Washington Bridge (I-95) at 178th Street, Manhattan. Accessible from Lafayette Place and 181st Street by a footbridge over the West Side Highway. Site open, guided tours available in season. Owner/site manager: City of New York Parks and Recreation. ARLHS USA-408; Admiralty J1137.9; USCG 1-37668.

Jeffrey's Hook Light and George Washington Bridge, Manhattan, November 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by drogpatrl (no longer online)

Hudson River Lighthouses

Westchester County Lighthouse
Tarrytown (Kingsland Point, Sleepy Hollow)
1883. Inactive since 1961 (charted as a daybeacon). 60 ft round sparkplug tower with lantern and double gallery, including 4-story round keeper's quarters, mounted on cast iron caisson. Tower painted white, lantern black, caisson red. Dan Dvorscak's photo is at right, Marinas.com has aerial photos, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has an aerial view. The lighthouse was prefabricated by the G.W. & F. Smith Iron Co. of Boston. The light was originally a half mile (800 m) from the east shore of the river, but landfill in connection with a now-demolished General Electric plant brought the shoreline within a few feet of the lighthouse. Owned by Westchester County since 1974, this is one of only a few sparkplug lighthouses in the nation open for tours. The interior has been restored and furnished. Lighthouse Digest has a 1995 article. In 2011, the county and the Village of Tarrytown agreed to an $800,000 plan for complete restoration of the lighthouse. However, the lowest bid received for the project in 2013 was $1.2 million. Located off US 9 at the end of Palmer Avenue on the east side of the river in North Tarrytown, about a mile north of the Tappan Zee Bridge (I-87). The lighthouse is accessible from shore by a footbridge. Site and tower usually closed but guided tours offered by the Village of Sleepy Hollow can be arranged and several are usually offered during the summer and fall. Owner/site manager: Westchester County Parks. ARLHS USA-836; ex-Admiralty J1138.15.

Rockland County Lighthouses
Rockland Lake (2)
1923 (station established 1894). Active; focal plane 50 ft (15 m); white flash every 6 s. 50 ft (15 m) skeletal tower with a central column rising from a square concrete base. Skeletal tower painted black; the base and central column are white. Trabas has a photo by Michael Boucher, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This skeletal tower replaced a sparkplug lighthouse that was demolished after its foundation failed. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the original lighthouse; notice that the lighthouse already has the lean that proved fatal. Rockland Lake is not really a lake but a broad reach of the Hudson as it emerges from the Catskill Mountains. Located in mid-river opposite Scarborough. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-1217; Admiralty J1138.25; USCG 1-37775.
*** Stony Point (1)
1826 (Thomas Phillips). Reactivated (inactive 1925-1995, now unofficial and maintained by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission); focal plane 178 ft (54 m); white flash every 4 s. 30 ft (9 m) octagonal fieldstone tower, 4th order Fresnel lens (on loan from the Hudson River Maritime Museum). 1-1/2 story stone keeper's quarters. An online virtual tour is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has an aerial view. One of two Stony Point Lights in New York; see under Lake Ontario Lighthouses on the Upstate page for the other one. The oldest lighthouse on the Hudson, this is a very rare example of a small early nineteenth century U.S. lighthouse. The Palisades Interstate Park Commission restored the exterior of the tower in 1986 and the interior in 1995. Located on the west side of the river off US 9W in Stony Point. Site open mid April through October (free), tower open to tours Wednesday through Sunday. Owner: Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Site manager: Palisades Park Conservancy (Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site). ARLHS USA-923.

Tarrytown Light, Sleepy Hollow, September 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Dan Dvorscak
Stony Point (2)
1925 (?). Active; focal plane 58 ft (18 m); white flash every 4 s. 58 ft (17.5 m) square skeletal tower with a central column rising from a square concrete base. Lighthouse painted white. The tower also carries a diamond-shaped green and white daymark. Trabas has a closeup photo showing the lighthouse covered with rust, the light is also seen in Marinas.com's aerial photos, and Bing has an aerial view. Located on the tip of the point, a sharp promontory on the west side of the river at the northern end of Rockland Lake. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J1138.6; USCG 1-37895

Ulster County Lighthouses
Esopus Meadows (Esopus Island, Middle Hudson River) (2)
1872 (station established 1839). Reactivated (inactive 1965-2003); focal plane 58 ft (18 m); white flash every 4 s. 55 ft (17 m) octagonal wood tower mounted on the roof of a 2-story mansard-style wood keeper's house. Anderson has a good page of photos and information, Trabas has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. A sibling of Colchester Reef Light, Vermont. For many years the lighthouse was endangered by ice damage and erosion. Leaning dangerously, it was added to the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. A local preservation group, the Save Esopus Lighthouse Commission, has been working effectively to save the lighthouse. In 2001, the lighthouse was shored up and leveled, permitting the work of restoring the interior of the building to begin. In November 2002, the state announced a grant of $45,300 to continue work on the foundation. On May 31, 2003, the light was returned to the tower from the skeletal tower where it had been displayed since 1965. Work is continuing, and the lighthouse has not been removed from the Doomsday List. Located on a tiny island west of the river channel north of Esopus; there is an excellent view from a picnic area of the Esopus Meadows Preserve on Ulster County route 24 about 4 miles (6 km) north of Esopus. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Save Esopus Lighthouse Commission. ARLHS USA-276; Admiralty J1140.08; USCG 1-38155.
Esopus Meadows Light
Esopus Meadows Light, Esopus, April 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by John Cudworth
[Rondout Creek (Kingston) (2)]
1867 (station established 1837). Inactive since 1915. Formerly a stone tower attached to keeper's quarters. This lighthouse was demolished in 1953 after its roof collapsed; the stone foundations remain. Anderson has a photo. Located on the south side of the mouth of the creek Visible from boats. Site status and site manager unknown. ARLHS USA-1309.
** Rondout Creek (Kingston) (3)
1915. Active; focal plane 52 ft (16 m); white flash every 6 s. 48 ft (15 m) square cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-1/2 story brick keeper's house; 250 mm lens. Building painted gray, lantern and gallery painted black. A photo is at right, Sarah Wheeler has a fine 2007 photo, Trabas has a photo, Huelse has a postcard view, and Bing has an aerial view. The lighthouse was restored as a museum in 1984-88 by the City of Kingston and the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the City of Kingston on 19 June 2002. The city has proposed to build a pedestrian bridge to provide better access to the building; in 2007 it was seeking a federal grant to pay half the estimated $170,000 cost. In 2009, a contract was awarded to replace the windows and repair the entrance to the lighthouse. Located at the end of a breakwater in the river off downtown Kingston, on the north side of Rondout Creek. Site open; museum and tower open by guided tours on the first Saturday of each month June through October (reservations required). Owner: City of Kingston. Site manager: Hudson River Maritime Museum. ARLHS USA-702; Admiralty J1139.8; USCG 1-38190.
Rondout Light
Rondout Creek Light, Kingston, May 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Joseph A.
** Saugerties (2)
1869 (station established 1836). Reactivated (inactive 1954-1990); focal plane 42 ft (13 m); white light occulting every 4 s. 46 ft (14 m) square cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story brick keeper's house. The building is unpainted red brick with white trim, lantern and gallery painted black. Anderson has a page with good photos, Trabas has a closeup photo, Lighthouse Digest has a November 2005 story on life at the station, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse is in use as a bed and breakfast inn, but it is also open to day visitors. There is a small museum on the second floor; a 4th order Fresnel lens of uncertain origin is displayed. Located on a circular pier just offshore in the river, the lighthouse is accessible by walking the trail through the adjacent Ruth Reynolds Glunt Nature Preserve. Site open (parking near the end of Lighthouse Street, off US 9W in Saugerties); boat shuttle (toll) and guided tours of the tower are available 12-3 pm on weekends and holidays Memorial Day (late May) through Labor Day (early September) (admission fee). Owner/site manager: Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy. ARLHS USA-739; Admiralty J1140.12; USCG 1-38375.

Columbia County Lighthouses
Hudson City (Hudson-Athens)
1874. Active; focal plane 46 ft (15 m); green flash every 2.5 s. 30 ft (9 m) square cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to square 2-story mansard-style brick keeper's house; 300 mm lens. The building is unpainted red brick with white trim, lantern and gallery painted black. The original 5th order Fresnel lens is on display at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. Working fog bell. Bash's photo is at right, Trabas has a good photo, Bash has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view and a very distant street view. This lighthouse is very similar to the Colchester Reef Light in Vermont and many other lighthouses of New York and southern New England, but it is of brick rather than wood construction. A similar lighthouse was built at Stepping Stones (see above). The original fog bell and its clockwork mechanism are preserved. Restoration of the lighthouse was completed in 2002. In August 2000 the preservation society received title to the lighthouse from the Coast Guard. In October 2003, it was discovered that the foundation of the lighthouse was sagging. The preservation society began a fund drive for repairs. A state grant of $200,000 provided a bit more than half the amount needed. In 2008, the situation having become urgent, the society took a mortgage on the lighthouse so that the repairs could be completed. Fundraising to repay the mortgage is continuing. Located on an island in the middle of the river between Athens and Hudson. Accessible only by boat; tours are scheduled about once a month during summer and fall (on the second Saturday, July through October, in 2013). Owner/site manager: Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society. ARLHS USA-391; Admiralty J1140.75; USCG 1-38560.
[Mill Creek (Stuyvesant, Kinderhook) (4?)]
Date unknown (station established 1829). Active; focal plane 41 ft (12.5 m); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 36 ft (11 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower, built a few feet north of the foundations of the historic lighthouse. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Bing has an aerial view. The first lighthouse was destroyed by ice in 1835, so a second was built. The third (1868) lighthouse was a handsome 2-story brick structure with attached square light tower. Sadly, it was demolished after being decommissioned in 1933. Located on a small island about 1.75 mi (2 km) north of Stuyvesant. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS USA-824; Admiralty J1141.4; USCG 1-38765.
Hudson-Athens Light
Hudson-Athens Light, Hudson, February 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Joseph A

Greene County Lighthouse
[Rattlesnake Island (Coxsackie) (3?)]
Date unknown (station established 1830). Active; focal plane 41 ft (12.5 m); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 36 ft (11 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower, mounted on the foundations of the historic lighthouse. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Bing has an aerial view. The second (1868) lighthouse was a handsome 2-story brick structure with attached square light tower. Sadly, it was demolished in 1940. The light marks a bend in the river. Located on a small island about 1.75 mi (2 km) north of Coxsackie. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS USA-196; Admiralty J1141.25; USCG 1-38720.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Chelsea Piers, on the Hudson in lower Manhattan, has a lighthouse, but it is not an active aid to navigation.
  • H.W. Wilson, a publishing company, has had a well-known lighthouse atop its office building, just off the East River at 950 University Avenue in the Bronx, since 1929.

Adjoining pages: North: Upstate New York | East: Connecticut | South: New Jersey

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index

Checked and revised April 18, 2014. Lighthouses: 49. Lightships: 4. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.