North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the town board announced this week that a promotional banner urging people to save the Stepping Stones Lighthouse has been placed on the fence surrounding the lighthouse. The lighthouse is located atop a rocky foundation off the coast of Kings Point on the Long Island Sound. The banner measures 4 feet by 18 feet and reads: “Save the Stepping Stones Lighthouse.
“Our intention is to use the banner to draw attention to the lighthouse and the joint efforts by the town, the Great Neck Historical Society and the Great Neck Park District to restore it,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “We covered the land with flyers, brochures and social media urging support for the restoration and now we are taking to the water as well.”
The town also recently applied for a $500,000 grant from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation-Long Island North Shore Heritage Area Grant Program for the lighthouse that, if awarded, would go towards the construction of a dock at the lighthouse. A dock needs to be constructed to ensure safe access to the structure. Currently, the lighthouse can only be accessed by boats at high tide. With the construction of a dock, access could be possible at any time.
The most pressing repairs at Stepping Stones include the stabilization and repair of the building (particularly the eastern side where foundation blocks have shifted), repair of saltwater damage to the basement and asbestos removal. The $500,000 grant will help the town to make substantial progress on the deteriorating structure. There is a $500,000 match required from the town.
The town obtained the Stepping Stones Lighthouse from the U.S. Department of the Interior through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. The lighthouse has historical significance here in the area. Constructed in 1878, the lighthouse guides the maritime community safely around the dangerous reefs, all within one of the busiest ports in the world. The town has joined together with the Great Neck Historical Society and the Great Neck Park District to restore the lighthouse to its former condition. The town has been providing in-kind services toward the project, and also recently made a $50,000 commitment for an engineering sound study, which must be done prior to building the dock.
To learn more about the Stepping Stones Lighthouse, its history and the efforts to restore it, check out www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWyhWmlP4uE, call 516-869-6311 or log on to www.greatneckhistorical.org.
The Town of North Hempstead