07/28/2016

Lighthouses

By Thomas A. Kligerman

Nantucket has been top of mind lately, as John Ike, Joel Barkley and I are heading out there Tuesday morning to take part in all the Nantucket by Design festivities. I grew up in New England and I love going to the island to see all the great buildings, in fact I've even be lucky enough to design some. 

Nantucket, Massachusetts

95% of the buildings on Nantucket are shingled - it may very well be the Shingle Style Capital of the United States - and a number of the ones that aren't are lighthouses. 

Nantucket Cliff Range, Massachusetts

Some of them even float! Any guesses what the name of this lightship is?

Nantucket Lightship

Beyond Nantucket, Lighthouses pepper the New England coast. 

These little buildings are built to withstand roaring tides, ocean surges, hurricanes and rogue waves.  They are often in the most dramatic settings - rocky outcroppings, forested cliffs, etc... On Watch Hill, the lighthouse sits on a peninsula that juts out into the Block Island Sound. 

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

A lighthouse is purpose built - it is so singular in its function and appearance. It's such a recognizable form that even a little kid could draw one - its archetypal. 

Block Island, Rhode Island

There's something about a lighthouse that's so iconic and recognizable from the shape of it to the pulse of the light. 

Little Brewster Island, Massachusetts.

The very first lighthouse in America was build on Little Brewster Island in the Boston Harbor, it was first lit on September 14th 1716. 

Historical Image of Little Brewster island Lighthouse. 

Faulkner's Island, Connecticut

Gayhead, New York

Hyannis, Massachusetts

Mystic, Connecticut

Sheffield Island, Connecticut

New London, Connecticut

Sandy Neck, Massachusetts

And of course not all lighthouses are in New England, there are some beauties in the South.

Cockspur Beacon Lighthouse, Georgia

And even at home, here in New York. (Anyone remember The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge?)

Jeffrey's Hook Light, New York

Wherever it may be, the image of a lighthouse has staying power.  It even works its way into our buildings, like on this Shingle Style house in Eastern Long Island. 

Shingle Style Beach House by John Ike

Lighthouses are bordering on obsolescence.  Just like your car, boats now navigate by satellite positioning. These are buildings are well worth protecting.  So check out these organizations if you want to find, learn about, visit or help preserve lighthouses all over the United States:

http://www.lighthousepreservation.org/

http://www.lighthousefriends.com/