New Dorp Light

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New Dorp Lighthouse
New Dorp Lighthouse
New Dorp Light is located in New York City
New Dorp Light
Location Staten Island / Lower New York Bay
Coordinates 40°34′51″N 74°7′12″W / 40.58083°N 74.12000°W / 40.58083; -74.12000Coordinates: 40°34′51″N 74°7′12″W / 40.58083°N 74.12000°W / 40.58083; -74.12000
Year first constructed 1856
Year first lit 1856
Deactivated 1964
Foundation Brick
Construction Wood
Tower shape Square on center of dwelling
Markings / pattern White
Height 80 feet (24 m)
Focal height 190 feet (58 m)
Original lens Second Order Fresnel lens
Characteristic Fixed White - visible on Range line only
ARLHS number USA-537 [1]
USCG number
New Dorp Light
Location Altamont Ave., Staten Island, New York, New York
Area less than one acre
NRHP Reference # 73001260[2]
Added to NRHP August 28, 1973

The New Dorp Lighthouse is a decommissioned lighthouse located in the New Dorp section of Staten Island, New York. Funds for the lighthouse were approved by Congress August 31, 1852 and the structure was completed in 1856. The lighthouse, built to serve as a rear range light to mark Swash Channel (a shipping channel in Lower New York Bay), was built by Richard Carlow, who also built the similar Chapel Hill and Point Comfort Range Lights in New Jersey around the same time. Ships sailing through Swash Channel were instructed to bring the New Dorp range light “in one” and steer towards the lights until the Chapel Hill Light came into view, which would then mark the channel past West Bank.

The original beacon was a second-order range lens showing a fixed red light that shined 192 feet (59 m) above sea level. In 1891 the light was changed to fixed white. In 1907 the light source was changed from oil to incandescent oil vapor, which magnified the intensity of the light. In 1939 a sixth-order range lens was installed, showing a fixed white light. John B. Fountain was the first light keeper, who resided in the light keepers house upon which the lighthouse tower was built.

The New Dorp Lighthouse was decommissioned and boarded up in 1964. The lighthouse and land were neglected and vandalized for ten years until being sold at auction to a Staten Island resident named John Vokral for $32,000 in 1974. Vokral did extensive restoration work on the lighthouse, which now serves as a private residence.[3][4]

New Dorp Light is on the National Register of Historic Places, with Reference #73001260 as New Dorp Light. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 1967. It is not open to the public.


  1. ^ ARLHS World List of Lights
  2. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ Northeast Lights: Lighthouses and Lightships, Rhode Island to Cape May, New Jersey, Robert Bachand, 1989.
  4. ^ American Lighthouses, 2nd: A Definitive Guide By Bruce Roberts, Ray Jones Publisher: Globe Pequot; 2nd edition (September 1, 2002) Language: English ISBN 076272269X

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