Stepping Stones Lighthouse Gets Hole in Roof Repaired as Donations Rise to $10K
Town also applies for National Maritime Heritage $330,000 Grant
North Hempstead, NY – The restoration of the Stepping Stones Lighthouse has taken a small step forward this month with the repair of a hole in the roof prior to winter weather moving in. In July the Town of North Hempstead, the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society (GNHS) joined together to form a partnership intent on saving and restoring the historic lighthouse. The repair was completed last week by employees of the Great Neck Park District.
Supervisor Judi Bosworth said that the Town has also applied for a $330,000 grant in federal funds through the US National Parks Service National Maritime Heritage Program. The grant requires that the Town match half of the total amount, or about $165,000. Town Grant Coordinator Thomas Devaney explained that the Town’s portion can come from “in-kind” services donated to the Lighthouse’s restoration. The Town is currently seeking estimates to repair a door that allows access to the lighthouse’s Crow’s Nest.
“The priorities right now are repairs that can be done before winter so that the lighthouse does not suffer any additional wear and tear due to weather,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “We are fully committed to this restoration project and are hopeful that our grant application will be accepted.”
If the grant is approved, Bosworth said that some priority projects include building a floating dock at the site and repairing some masonry issues.
Fund raising efforts by the Great Neck Historical Society are already underway in an attempt to raise the estimated $4 million needed to fully repair and restore the lighthouse. Stepping Stones Lighthouse, situated just 1,600 yards from Kings Point near the Throg’s Neck Bridge, was built in 1877 and is in need of structural repairs. The GNHS’s fundraising efforts includes selling t-shirts with the Lighthouse image and seeking donations from people interested in saving a piece of maritime history so intrinsically linked to the Town of North Hempstead and the Great Neck peninsula.
“We have raised about $10,000 in donations,” said Robert Lincoln, chair of the Lighthouse Restoration Committee of the GNHS and commissioner of the Great Neck Park District. “We are enthused and full of great ideas for some future fundraising events.” Lincoln also serves on the Town’s Stepping Stones Lighthouse Committee.
The historic lighthouse was awarded to the Town of North Hempstead in 2008 as part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The National Park Service serves as the Town's federal overseer for the lighthouse project, with the GSA. As part of the agreement to have stewardship of the lighthouse, the Town agreed to file yearly reports to the NPS keeping them apprised of any capital improvements, to preserve and restore the structure within its historical accuracy, and to educate visitors about the lighthouse and its historical significance.
Anyone wishing to learn more about, or donate to, the Stepping Stones Lighthouse Restoration project, please visit: Great Neck Historical Society Stepping Stones Lighthouse.