Preservationists push for new stewardship of Stepping Stones Lighthouse

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jen DeSena says she is open to exploring new options for the future of the lighthouse, including finding a new owner.

May 18, 2023, 10:18 PM

Updated 395 days ago

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Local preservationists say they are frustrated with the lack of restoration work on the 146-year-old Stepping Stones Lighthouse on the Long Island Sound.
The Town of North Hempstead agreed to restore the lighthouse when it became the lighthouse's steward 15 years ago.
Robert Lincoln, of the Great Neck Historical Society, says the town has not kept its promise.
"We've been now through three administrations with the town, all the major political parties, and they have just basically done nothing but come up with obstacles and excuses," Lincoln says.
The Great Neck Historical Society is calling on the federal government to revoke stewardship of the Stepping Stones Lighthouse from the Town of North Hempstead.
Lincoln says the last straw came on April 4 when North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena announced the town was forced to return a $165,000 federal grant because the town didn't have proper permits to construct a lighthouse dock in 2019.
DeSena says she is open to exploring new options for the future of the lighthouse, including finding a new owner.
"If the historical society or the park district want to be the steward of it, that might be a good idea, but using taxpayer money was never supposed to happen," DeSena says. "It happened under the prior administration, and I cannot write a blank check for something that could be a $10 million project."
Lincoln is hopeful that the National Park Service will make a decision on the Stepping Stones Lighthouse's stewardship soon.
"Each year goes by, it's going to continue to deteriorate, and we don't want to lose it," Lincoln says.
News 12 contacted the National Park Service but has not heard back.


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