North Hempstead town officials recently announced plans to partner with the Great Neck Park District and Great Neck Historical Society to preserve the historic Stepping Stones Lighthouse, located just 1,600 yards from Kings Point.
First built in 1877, the Stepping Stones Lighthouse has been declared a historic landmark by the National Register of Historic Places. And, while it was updated and modernized in 1944 and 1966, it is in need of structural repairs.
Five years ago, an evaluation was performed to assess the necessary cost of the restoration. According to Town officials, the project will cost approximately $4 million. Under the new partnership agreement, the Town will not be providing funds, but will provide in-kind services to assist with repairs. The Town will also seek grands and private donations, including an application to the U.S. National Parks Service National Maritime Heritage Grant program for $200,000 towards the cost of the renovations.
“Restoring and preserving historical structures is never an inexpensive proposition,” said Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, “but it is important that we do not lose a piece of our maritime history here in North Hempstead.”
The Town’s partnership was announced after a meeting between Bosworth, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society. The GSA and the National Park Service will also oversee the town’s lighthouse preservation project, as per the agreement.
“GSA looks for passionate and capable stewards to help us ensure that these architectural treasures will be preserved without burdening taxpayers,” said GSA Regional Administrator Robert Zarnetske. “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 NHLPA program as it was intended.”
As the stewards of the lighthouse, the Town of North Hempstead has agreed to file yearly reports with the National Park Service, in order to keep them apprised of any capital improvements to preserve or restore the structure within its historical accuracy.
“We are excited to see this project moving forward,” said Lighthouse Restoration Committee Chairman and Great Neck Park District Commissioner Robert Lincoln. “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.”
Anyone wishing to learn more about, or donate to, the Stepping Stones Lighthouse Restoration project, please visit: Great Neck Historical Society Stepping Stones Lighthouse.