November 30, 2011

With Key Decision on Historic Landmark Status for Montauk Point Lighthouse, Gillibrand Renews Call to Approve Status for Iconic Site

Gillibrand: Landmark Designation for Iconic Lighthouse Will Boost Tourism, Economic Activity

Suffolk, NY – With a key decision this week on whether or not to designate the Montauk Point Lighthouse as a National Historic Landmark, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today renewed her call for the National Park Service to approve the status for the iconic lighthouse— New York State’s oldest lighthouse and one of the first seacoast lighthouses authorized by Congress. The National Park System (NPS) Advisory Board Landmarks Committee will make a key recommendation this week, with final approval by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in the coming months.

Senator Gillibrand wrote in a letter to Ronald James, Chair of the NPS Advisory Board Landmarks Committee, “I strongly encourage you to recommend that the Montauk Point Lighthouse be designated as a National Historic Landmark to Secretary Salazar after the Advisory Board’s upcoming meeting… The Montauk Point Lighthouse has a rich history and continues to serve as a vital navigation feature to this day.  In 1969, the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and the time has come for this iconic structure to be designated as a National Historic Landmark.”  

After Senator Gillibrand urged Paul Loether, Chief of the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program to strongly consider the designation this past May, the Advisory Board agreed to nominate Montauk Point Lighthouse as a candidate. If approved by the Advisory Board and Secretary Salazar, the Lighthouse would be the eighth place in Suffolk County to achieve landmark status. 

With Montauk Point Lighthouse becoming an iconic part of Suffolk County’s landscape, Senator Gillibrand pointed out that the landmark status would have the potential to greatly enhance tourism and economic activity in the surrounding area. The National Historic Landmark designation would provide greatly needed resources to preserve this site, which played a pivotal role in America’s history, guiding ships from Europe to New York. Built in 1796, the Montauk Point Lighthouse promoted New York as the receiving port for British manufactured goods in America.