Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society is committed to the restoration and ongoing maintenance of the Huntington Harbor Lighthouse.
HUNTINGTON LIGHTHOUSE PRESERVATION SOCIETY
Designated as both a New York and a National Historic Landmark, Huntington Harbor Lighthouse is one of Long Island’s most recognized architectural and coastal structures. Huntington Harbor Lighthouse is equally significant for its rich cultural heritage and for an enduring educational and economic contribution to the region.
By 1985, the Huntington Harbor Lighthouse was in a severely deteriorated condition and the U.S. Coast Guard scheduled it for demolition. Local citizens and historic preservationists, along with recreational and commercial boaters were horrified. This sparked a well-known family and their daughter-in-law, Janis Harrington to petition the Coast Guard to take over the structure and save it from demolition. The Coast Guard had never been asked by a private group of citizens for the right to restore an offshore lighthouse, and felt such a project could not be accomplished given the poor condition of the Lighthouse. The group insisted and formed the nonprofit, Save Huntington’s Lighthouse, Inc., to stabilize and restore the Lighthouse, and entered into an operational lease with the Coast Guard.
This was the first lease of an offshore lighthouse in the United States establishing a precedent that paved the way for the establishment of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The Huntington Harbor Lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 as a result of the organization’s efforts (now named the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society). Over the course of 28 years and with $1 million raised and invested to date, and thousands of volunteer hours spent, Huntington Harbor Lighthouse has been diligently protected as best as possible with a focus on public access and historically accurate interpretation. Regular tours, educational programs, community collaborations and one of the largest water-based concerts in the country (1,200 boats), contribute significant and consistent public benefit.
Today, Huntington Harbor Lighthouse is severely threatened by acute erosion from its marine environment and the effects of severe storm damage, including interior flood damage and dock damage from Hurricane Sandy. Structural failure of the Lighthouse foundation is clearly evident in six crucial locations much of this caused by increased wave action from marine traffic. Furthermore, the cast iron cupola, and windows, doors and casings are all severely deteriorated, allowing water penetration into the Lighthouse’s interior.
As devoted stewards of this iconic and historic structure, the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society has embarked on a $1,500,000 capital campaign to commence with the careful restoration of the Lighthouse’s concrete foundation, with the addition of new riprap (large boulders) to surround the foundation in order to proactively protect this long-term repair. Furthermore this campaign includes
essential funds to repair deteriorated architectural features, secure watertight integrity, and improve
public access to ensure long-term sustainability.