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The next and last Park to Park of the season is Sunday, September 9 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the lighthours tours will happen again from 1 to 3 p.m. Village Historian Henry Steiner will be on hand to answer questions and hand over the rubber mallot for bell-ringing from the upper balcony.
In addition to knowing all there is to know about this lighthouse — once requiring a boat to access and housing the lighthouse keeper and his family — Steiner also offers local lore about the surroundings.
He told me nearby Hudson Street was referred to the early 1900s as "Hunk Alley" for its density of swarthy worker men. The parking lot now used by was once home to the Irving School. The sweep of hill on lower Beekman was "Goat Hill" for...its goats.
The lighthouse itself, while now only occasionally open to the public, is meant to go into fuller operation within a year's time, said Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio some months back.
The village had hired an expert in scuba gear to inspect the structure's base which they found to be rock solid. Come here during a storm, said Steiner, and the building doesn't budge. Going up flight by flight through the round rooms (kitchen, bedroom, bedroom, light tower), I was pleased to find the place in better condition than I expected.
It's the roof that apparently needs fixing, with leaks that are impacting the flooring below, said Steiner. The building could also use a new paint job... Items on the agenda, "though I don't know when," Steiner said.
On Sunday, many people were thrilled with the unlimited access on a day much more comfortable to walk from Horan's Landing to Kingsland Point Park than the last stifling event a few week's back. There seemed to be many more visitors this time, circling the lighthouse balcony and walking along the usually inaccessible GM property waterfront in the hopes of more to come.