Letters to the Editor

January 12, 2009 at 3:51 am Leave a comment

Preserving the former U.S. Lighthouse Service’s historic waterfront property in St. George is extremely important because it is a rich link to our Island’s maritime heritage. The preservation of historical, cultural and natural areas for public use has been recognized with federal, state, and city legislation.

Federal Historic Preservation Laws mandate that special effort be taken to preserve sites such as the former U.S. Lighthouse Service base. The statutes explicitly state that entities or agencies to which lighthouses, associated structures and land are transferred, shall make them, “available for education, park, recreation, cultural or historic preservation purposes for the general public at reasonable times and under reasonable conditions.”

The New York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC), which manages the St. George site, has deliberately kept the green open space locked to the public at all times and has never given the National Lighthouse Museum a lease. The open space and several buildings have been offered to developers for commercial purposes and private profit.

The entire U.S. Lighthouse Service site does meet the requirements for city, state and federal historic protection. An application was submitted and reviewed in the year 2000; historic designation was not given to the entire site because the EDC objected.

This wonderful, historic, waterfront site should be for all Staten Islanders to use; its location at Staten Island’s transportation hub makes it ideally suited for a public park and recreational, educational and cultural use.

Please write to your elected officials and insist that this site remain a public facility and that access to the entire site be granted immediately.
RONALD MEISELS STAPLETON
Staten Island Advance

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Entry filed under: Dive In, Go Coastal, Staten Island, Working Waterfront.

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