Untapped Cities is excited to announce the return of our Untapped Cities Insiders tour of the Little Red Lighthouse! This historic beacon in Fort Washington Park rarely opens its doors, but Insiders will have two chances to get inside this spring. On these special tours, led by an Urban Park Ranger, you will learn the history of this unique landmark and the surrounding area of Fort Washington Park, The George Washington Bridge and the Hudson River. After a walk through the park with views of the bridge leading up to the site, you will get to go inside the lighthouse and climb the original 48 cast iron plate steps all the way to the top. This tour is free and open to Untapped Cities Insiders. Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to access free behind-the-scenes tours and special events in New York City all year long!
The Little Red Lighthouse, officially named The Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse, was erected in 1880 in New Jersey and moved to its current site in 1921. This 40-foot tall structure is one of the few surviving lighthouses left in New York City. When the George Washington Bridge opened in 1931, the brighter lights of the bridge made the tiny lighthouse obsolete. It was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1948.
The lighthouse’s nickname comes from the children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, written by Hildegarde Swift and Lynd Ward in 1942. Swift and Ward’s book was beloved by schoolchildren and drew endearing attention to the site. When the Coast Guard moved to tear down the lighthouse in 1951, public disapproval ultimately led to the site being turned over to the Parks Department which renovated and continues to maintain the site today.
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE TOUR: