Long gone are the days in which lighthouses were essential for navigating New York's waterways. But in New York and beyond, the structures that once helped sailors find the shoreline have been preserved and memorialized. This Saturday, you can explore one of New York's most adorable lighthouses on a tour that promises to leave any history nerd squirming.
Jeffery's Hook Lighthouse, better known as the Little Red Lighthouse, was first built at NJ beach Sandy Hook in 1889 and stood there until it was reconstructed along the waterfront in Washington Heights in 1921. Two decades later, it became the subject of a children's book by Hildegarde Swift titled The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. The story revolves around a personified version of the lighthouse as it begins to feel useless while the George Washington Bridge is constructed above it. The book popularized the lighthouse and, in turn, prevented it from being demolished.
Today, Jeffery's Hook Lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a New York City landmark. At 40 feet, it's hardly "little," but when it's juxtaposed with the massive George Washington Bridge, it looks as cute as a button.
Saturday's tour will be an open house hosted by NYC's Urban Park Rangers. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis, and doors will be open from 1–4pm. You can find more details here, but we'd recommend arriving early to ensure you get a slot.