Why is this building significant?
The Little Red Lighthouse, officially Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse, is a romantic remnant of New York City’s maritime history. The City’s smallest lighthouse, it replaced an illuminated red pole that had been built in the late 19th century to reduce Hudson River traffic accidents. In 1931 the completion of the George Washington Bridge, immediately overhead, made its navigational light obsolete. The Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse, putting its light out in 1948, and they planned to dismantle and auction the structure. The lighthouse was saved, however, because of the popularity, especially among children, of the 1942 children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, written by Hildegarde Swift with illustrations by Lynd Ward.
What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?
We oversaw a restoration of the lighthouse for the New York City Parks Department. This project involved repainting the body of the lighthouse red, installing safety mesh to the railing, replacing windowpanes in the lantern with new glazing, repairing window frames, repainting the fence, and restoring the entryway door to the structure.