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Hudson-Athens Lighthouse awarded $500K for restoration

Jan 06, 2022 5:45 am

Noah Eckstein is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to aid in the restoration of the aging landmark. The grant will support refurbishing the roof and gutters of the 147-year-old Hudson-Athens Lighthouse in an effort to stop water intrusion and erosion. The funds will help complete the first of a four-phase restoration project estimated to cost between $3 million and $4 million. Built in 1874, the lighthouse stands in the Hudson River between Hudson and Athens in the area of the river known as Middle Ground Flats. Nearly 150 years of currents, weather dredging and wakes from large ships have taken a toll on the historic structure and the nearly 200- year-old underwater wooden pilings that support it. “This grant does not give us our 100-year solution, but it’s a start,” Society Vice-president Bob Green said. The state parks funds will cover the cost of a new staircase from the dock to the deck of the lighthouse, a new marine toilet and cistern repairs. The Society now must raise funds to repair the underwater wood pilings, a much more costly project. “The OPRHP grant makes it easier for HALPS to fundraise from federal and state money. And once that happens, it’s easier to get private donations to finish the project,” said Green. An engineering assessment concluded that without the necessary repairs, the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse will not survive. Van Calhoun, chairman of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Restoration Committee, estimates the entire project will be finished by the end of 2024. A green light on top of the lighthouse is monitored by the U.S. Coast Guard and powered by solar panels. It blinks every 8 seconds as a way to alert passing ships to the shallow waters. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.