Lighthouse Hill, Staten Island
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Lighthouse Hill is the name of a hill, and the neighborhood situated thereon, in the New York City borough of Staten Island. Lighthouse Hill is situated to the north of Richmondtown, south of Todt Hill, and west of Grant City.
Formerly known as Richmond Hill (and not to be confused with the neighborhood of the same name in the borough of Queens), Lighthouse Hill acquired its present name when the Staten Island Range Light, towering 141 feet (43 m) above the Lower New York Bay, was built there in 1912. Its original light could be seen as far as 21 miles (34 km) away. The former name of Richmond Hill survives in Richmond Hill Road, located at the southern edge of the hill.
Lighthouse Hill is the southernmost of the chain of hills that radiate from the northeast corner of Staten Island and separate its East Shore from the region behind the hills, usually referred to as Mid-Island by island residents. Richmond Creek flows near the bottom of the hill's eastern ridge, and it is surrounded on all sides by parks belonging to the Staten Island Greenbelt, with the LaTourette Golf Course at the hill's southern margin.
Like the other hilltop neighborhoods of Staten Island, Lighthouse Hill is noted for having some of the most opulent homes on Staten Island, rivaled only in grandeur by the Todt Hill neighborhood. In addition to the commanding views of historic Richmondtown and New York Harbor, Lighthouse Hill is also the site of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, The Crimson Beech (residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), and the Latourette House (ca. 1836).
Some notable residents include Edward Arlington Robinson (poet), best known for his poem "Richard Corey" (a staple in American high school and college literature classes). During his stay at LaTourette, Edward Arlington Robinson corresponded with Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt. In his letters to Kermit Roosevelt, Robinson lauded the President for helping the poet obtain a job at the United States Customs House in New York City. (The position was essentially a "no-show" job which enabled Robinson to support himself while he wrote poetry.) Robinson, by his own admission, wrote his least popular works - i.e., the plays "Van Zorn" and "Porcuipine" - while staying at LaTourette. Apparently a ghost (thought to be that of David LaTourette who died in the early 19th century) was unhappy with Robinson's presence.
Arthur Anderson (radio, TV, and film personality who is commonly known as the "Voice of the Lucky Charms Leprechuan") lived on Edinboro Road for the first twelve years of his life. Anderson worked with Orson Welles in the Mercury Theatre and the radio series The Mercury Theatre on the Air which featured Shakepearean classics.
Modernist painter Henry Fitch Taylor, a student of Claude Monet, lived in the LaTourette House from 1913 to 1915 with his wife, Clara Sidney Davidge. Mrs. Davidge is credited with organizing the fist Armory Show in 1913 in which the American public was exposed to the European Impressionists (e.g., Gauguin, Monet, Et. al.) Her husband was also featured at the Armory Show.
Lighthouse Hill is serviced by the S54 and S74/84 local buses and the X15 express bus on Richmond Road.
- Jackson, K.T. (ed), Encyclopedia of New York, Yale University Press, 1995
- Staten Island Range Lighthouse, New York at Lighthousefriends.com
- White, N. & Willensky, E., AIA Guide to New York City (4th Ed.), Three Rivers Press, 2000
- "Staten Island Bus Map January 2013". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.