Fire Island Lighthouse

Fire Island Lighthouse

1858 (station established 1826). Reactivated (inactive 1974-1986, now privately maintained); 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 Google has a fine satellite 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. 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: U.S. National Park Service. Site manager: Fire Island National Seashore. ARLHS USA-286; Admiralty J1016; USCG 1-695. – The Lighthouse Directory

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