New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Light Still Shines
Only ten years after Jeffrey’s Hook Light was assembled here, the George Washington Bridge was built overhead. Under the bridge’s bright lights, the lighthouse became obsolete for the second time. In 1947, the Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse and its light was extinguished.
In 1951, the Coast Guard proposed to dismantle the lighthouse, but the public protested with an outpouring of letters to officials, largely because the lighthouse was a beloved character in the 1942 children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, written by Hildegarde H. Swift and illustrated by Lynd Ward. The campaign to save the lighthouse was successful and on July 23, 1951 it came under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. In the book, the Little Red Lighthouse feels dwarfed by the George Washington Bridge. He feels unneeded and unwanted until one particularly foggy night when the Bridge calls to him, “Little brother, where is your light?” The Lighthouse wonders, “Am I brother of yours bridge? Your light was so bright that I thought mine was needed no more.” The Bridge replied, “I flash to the ships of the air. But you are still master of the river. Quick, let your light shine. Each to his own place, little brother!”
Today everybody knows
Erected by New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
Location. 40° 51′ N, 73° 56.801′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker can be reached from Riverside Drive, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in Fort Washington Park, near the George Washington Bridge. The park can be reached from Riverside Drive near 181st Street via a footbridge over the Henry Hudson Parkway. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10033, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Story of a Lighthouse (here, next to this marker); The Little Red Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); American Redoubt (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Plaza Lafayette (approx. 0.3 miles away); Highest Point on Manhattan (approx. Robert Magaw Defended this Position (approx. half a mile away); Fort Washington (approx. half a mile away); Site of Hilltop Park (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. The upper left of the marker contains a photo of the Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse and George Washington Bridge. Photograph by Madeleine Isom. The cover of the book appears at the bottom of the marker, and has a caption of “illustration from The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge ©1942 by Harcourt, Inc. Copyright renewed 1970 by Hildegarde Hoyt Swift and Lynd Ward. All rights reserved.”
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 10, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 403 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 10, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 5. submitted on September 30, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.