Also known as "The Little Red Lighthouse"
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Jeffrey's Hook on the Hudson River in New York was originally marked with a red pole as a day mark. In 1889 two 10 candle power lanterns were hung on the pole to mark the hazard to navigation at night. River Captains complained that the signal was not bright enough and the Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse Station was established in 1921 using a recycled 40 foot tower that had been in storage at the Staten Island Lighthouse Depot. Formerly known as the North Hook Beacon (part of the Sandy Hook Range Lights) the tower was removed as it was in the line of fire of a new coastal artillery battery erected in 1917 at Fort Hancock (Sandy Hook, New Jersey). Built in 1881 to replace the East Beacon at Sandy Hook, the brick lined, cast iron tower served 36 years at Sandy Hook and spent 4 years dismantled in storage before becoming the Little Red Lighthouse at Jeffrey's Hook. The Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse served 11 years before the George Washington Bridge's completion made it obsolete. Lights on the Great Gray Bridge were brighter and more visible than that of the lighthouse and the U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned the light in 1948. The USCG intended to auction the lighthouse as excess but greatly in part to a children's book, opted to donate the site to NYC Parks. The book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge written by Hildegarde Swift motivated both children and adults to write letters to the Coast Guard to save the Little Red Lighthouse.
The Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and received a $209,000. restoration in 1986. It was most recently repainted in 2000 and was relit on September 19th, 2002 using a 300 MM lens visible for 5 nautical Miles. Jeffrey's Hook "Little Red" Lighthouse now serves as a private aid to navigation giving a white flash every 3 seconds and remains an attraction in NYC's Fort Washington Park.
December 2002 Issue, Little Red Lighthouse Under Great Gray Bridge Shines Again, By Jim Crowley. "On September 19, 2002 at approximately 8 p.m., the Little Red Lighthouse shined its beacon on the Hudson River for the first time in over 50 years." Please go to the Lighthouse Digest Magazine Archives to read this article. Lighthouse Digest magazine not only keeps the history of our lighthouses alive both in print and on line, but it is the best single source to keep current on all aspects of lighthouse preservation, news and events.
The Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse is located underneath the George Washington Bridge on the Hudson River on Manhattan Island, New York City, New York.
Directions: From the Henry Hudson Parkway (also known as State Route 9A) take exit 14 onto Riverside Drive northbound. Continue north past the George Washington Bridge approaches and park in the vicinity of the 181st Street intersection with Riverside Drive. Riverside Drive is closed just north of 181st Street since a rock slide several years ago and is posted for "No Through Traffic". After parking, walk north toward the road closure and take the footbridge over the Henry Hudson Parkway. The path winds down hill over both legs of the parkway and the Hudson Division of the Metro North Railroad tracks before entering Fort Washington Park underneath the George Washington Bridge. The Little Red Lighthouse is on the shore just south of the bridge.
New York City Parks - Scheduled tours are offered from spring through fall by the New York City Urban Park Rangers. For tour information, call (212) 304-2365.
For more photographs and history of the Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse, you can visit the: