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County Celebrates Restoration, Rededication of Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse

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By Anna Carpinelli

The restored Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, a landmark that has graced the Hudson River shoreline since 1883. Westchester County held a ceremony last Thursday in celebration of its completed restoration.

In celebration of the restoration of the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, Westchester County held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Thursday, surrounded by county officials and local community members.

“This (lighthouse) has long been a symbol of both the Hudson River and this region, and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to complete the long-necessary project to bring it back to its former glory,” County Executive George Latimer said during the ceremony.

Rehabilitation of the lighthouse was a $3.4 million capital project undertaken by the county. Repairs included repainting the structure’s interior and exterior, addressing caisson cracks, replacing windows and doors, cleaning and repointing the foundation’s masonry, restoring the wood floors, installing exterior lighting and additional renovations to the bridge and gate leading up to the lighthouse.

The goal of the renovations was to restore the lighthouse to its mid-20th century when it was in active service and shortly afterward.

Built in 1883, the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse was previously a half-mile from shore. Throughout its 78 years in operation, it warned ships and guided them away from shoals on the east side of the Hudson River.

In 1961, the structure was decommissioned, as lights from the Tappan Zee Bridge rendered it unnecessary. Today, the landmark is offshore in Kingsland Point Park in Sleepy Hollow.

During the ceremony, Edward Cooke, a representative of the North East Regional Council of Carpenters, commended the efforts of county officials for their restoration projects of notable and historic assets.

“On behalf of the 30,000 local tradesmen and women in Westchester County and Putnam County, I’d like to thank and commend the Westchester County government for actually getting the work done,” Cooke said.

The project is a continuation of Latimer’s commitment to restoring historical assets throughout the county. Past initiatives included $20 million toward the rehabilitation of Mount Vernon’s Memorial Field, $3.5 million for the Miller House/Washington’s Headquarters in North White Plains and a $130 million capital investment in Playland Park in Rye.

County Legislator Margaret Cunzio (C-Mount Pleasant) said she was thrilled that the lighthouse has received much-needed work.

“It will serve as a beacon of light on the Hudson River in Sleepy Hollow for all to appreciate,” Cunzio said.

Latimer emphasized the lighthouse as an example of a municipality and county government working together. The project was dedicated to the Village of Sleepy Hollow, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

Residents can now appreciate the restored landmark that has been on the shoreline for more than 140 years, said Sleepy Hollow Mayor Martin Rutyna.

“That this rededication is taking place during the 150th anniversary of our incorporation deepens our appreciation for the history that the lighthouse and all the ships that have passed here represent,” he said.

Latimer offered personal anecdotes from his childhood in Mount Vernon, connecting his past experiences to his mission today, which is to help restore Westchester County.

“There are kids growing up in the same room that I grew up in on South 14th Avenue today, and they too want to have access to pools and beaches. They too want to have access to special recreational opportunities,” Latimer said. “And those kids aren’t just in Mount Vernon, they’re here in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Ossining, Yonkers, Port Chester, Mount Kisco, all across this county.”


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