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Fort Washington Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, September 30, 2004


Manhattan’s most beloved lighthouse was celebrated recently during the 12th Annual Little Red Lighthouse Festival. More than 300 event-goers enjoyed lighthouse tours, live performances by Orville Davis and the Stout Trio and free giveaways. Children listened intently as Roseanne Cash and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe read Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, the famed children’s book written by Hildegarde H. Swift.

The lighthouse tours were such a success that additional tours will be offered in the upcoming weeks. Tours will be offered on October 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be conducted by the Urban Park Rangers, and again as part of Open House New York on October 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The lighthouse is located at Fort Washington Park on the Hudson River, just under the George Washington Bridge.

The Little Red Lighthouse, officially named the Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse, was erected in 1880 and was moved to its current site in 1921, where it stands as Manhattan’s only lighthouse.

The lighthouse became a celebrated children’s landmark after its symbolic debut in the children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, by Hildegarde H. Swift in 1942. In the book, illustrated by Lynd Ward, the lighthouse metaphorically expresses the significance of a little thing in a big world.

The lighthouse’s removal was proposed in 1951, but the public outcry of New York City children and their allies succedded in preserving the lighthouse for generations to come. It was at this point that the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation was granted jurisdiction over the structure.

The Little Red Lighthouse Festival took place on September 18 and was produced by Parks & Recreation, the Historic House Trust and the New York Restoration Project. Con Edison sponsored the event.

Council Member Robert Jackson, Manhattan Borough Commissioner Bill Castro, and Executive Director of the Historic House Trust Therese Braddick were all in attendance.

"The Little Red Lighthouse is a true New York gem," said Braddick. "Over 300 people braved the rains from hurricane Ivan on Saturday, September 18 for a chance to get inside the historic site."

For information about visiting the lighthouse, please call the Urban Park Rangers at 311. For information about visiting any other historic house in New York City parks, visit by Carli Smith

Quotation for the Day

A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience."

Miguel de Cervantes



Directions to Fort Washington Park

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