National Lighthouse Museum, located in Staten Island, NY, is a museum dedicated to American lighthouses and their keepers. The museum is in Conference House Park and officially opened in 2015.
National Lighthouse Museum is famous for preserving the Fresnel lens from the St. George Lighthouse which is located in Staten Island across from Manhattan. The St. George lighthouse was built between 1839 and 1852 but was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1947 after it became obsolete with advancements in technology.
A group of citizens called Project St. George served as advocates of the St. George Lighthouse to be conserved as a historic landmark instead of being dismantled and destroyed. The group was successful in its mission, resulting in the St. George lighthouse lens being preserved at the National Lighthouse Museum instead of being transferred or sold elsewhere.
The concept of a museum dedicated to American lighthouses started in 2001. The project was initially proposed by the Staten Island Historical Society in order to preserve artifacts that were related to these iconic landmarks.
In 2004, Project St. George acquired $1.5 million from the city government and began working on an exhibition plan for the lighthouse lens at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
In 2007, the project experienced a setback when the city government withdrew its support for the museum in Staten Island.
However, in 2008, Project St. George received a 10-year lease from the Conference House Park to operate a lighthouse museum there and began fundraising for exhibitions and renovations.
In 2009, the museum was granted $1.52 million by New York City Council and received a $5.6 million state grant in 2011 for renovations and operating costs.
In 2013, the lighthouse lens from St. George Lighthouse was moved to the National Lighthouse Museum ahead of its scheduled opening in 2015.
The museum was designed by two architecture firms, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott and Wilson Architects.
Their main aim was to design an iconic building that visually evokes the heritage of American lighthouses.
The designers’ goal was to create a building with clean, sharp lines in order to contrast the soft curves of nearby historic buildings.
Artifacts are displayed in twelve galleries, which are accessible via two circular ramps, which evoke the spiral stairs inside lighthouses. Lighting effects were incorporated throughout the museum to make it resemble what is seen in lighthouses at night.
The National Lighthouse Museum is a museum in St. George, Staten Island, New York City, United States, that is dedicated to the history of lighthouses and their keepers. It officially opened in 2015.
Address: 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, NY 10301
Phone: (718) 390-0040
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