FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31, 2014
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Ryan Mulholland, Sam Marksheid, and Rebecca Cheng | (516) 869-7794
Town Partners with GN Park District & GN Historical Society to Preserve Stepping Stones Lighthouse
North Hempstead, NY – Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth announced today the formation of a partnership with the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society to restore and preserve the historic Stepping Stones Lighthouse, situated just 1,600 yards from Kings Point. The lighthouse, built in 1877, is in need of structural repairs.
The partnership was announced following a recent meeting between the Supervisor, representatives from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the entity which manages federal properties, the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society.
“We’ve taken a small but significant step towards restoring our Stepping Stones Light House,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “We are so pleased to be working alongside the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society as we search for a variety of ways to raise the money we will need to restore this historical structure.”
"We are excited to see this project moving forward,” said Robert Lincoln, chair of the Lighthouse Restoration Committee of the Great Neck Historical Society and commissioner of the Great Neck Park District. “This is the beginning stage, and much work lies ahead. We already have significant interest and positive feedback from within our community, as well as the surrounding area. I am confident that this will be a successful endeavor."
"Stepping Stones Lighthouse is an important part of our national maritime history. GSA looks for passionate and capable stewards to help us ensure that these architectural treasures will be preserved without burdening taxpayers," said Robert Zarnetske, GSA Regional Administrator for New England. "The Town of North Hempstead's partnership with the Great Neck Historical Society and the Great Neck Parks District exemplifies this effort while capturing the spirit of the NLHPA program as it was intended."
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 agrees 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.
An evaluation done approximately five years ago, estimated the total restoration project to be approximately $4 million, according to Town officials. Under the partnership agreement, the Town will not be providing funds for the restoration, but rather will provide in-kind services to assist with repairs and will also seek grants and private donations. Just this week the Town prepared an application to the US National Parks Service National Maritime Heritage Grant program for $200,000.
“Restoring and preserving historical structures is never an inexpensive proposition,” Supervisor Bosworth added. “But it is important that we do not lose a piece of our maritime history here in North Hempstead.”
Anyone wishing to learn more about, or donate to, the Stepping Stones Lighthouse Restoration project, please visit: Great Neck Historical Society Stepping Stones Lighthouse.
The Stepping Stones Lighthouse, located in Long Island Sound off of Kings Point, was built directly over a large rock, with the addition of 900 boulders that were barged to the site between 1875 and 1878. The light was first turned on in March 1, 1877 with a fixed red light and updated and modernized in 1944 and in October 1966. In September 2005 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.