10. Lightship Ambrose

This ship, whose actual name is Lightship LV-87, was built in 1907 as a “floating lighthouse” meant to guide ships coming in from the Atlantic Ocean safely into lower New York Bay between Coney Island, New York, and Sandy Hook, NJ. Costing just under $100,000 to build, this ship originally had three oil lanterns at each of its mast heads, but was fashioned with electric ones in 1908.

The Ambrose docked at the South Street Seaport from 1908 to 1932, during which time in 1921, she was fitted with a new radio beacon to better assist and avoid danger in bad weather with low visibility. She was the first lightship equipped with one. In 1932, she was re-designated a relief lightship, serving the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard returned the Ambrose to the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968. Today, visitors are allowed board and tour the Ambrose.

In 1989, the Ambrose gained National Historic Landmark status.