Can This Historical Treasure Sinking Into the Hudson River Be Saved?
Do you find yourself passing really beautiful things on your way to or from work? You probably think to yourself, "One day I need to go check that out."
In this particular case, you need to check it out probably sooner than later. The Hudson-Athen's Lighthouse is a historical treasure in the Hudson River near Hudson that not many take advantage of being able to see and to help support.
A little history, first. The lighthouse was first used to guide vessels through that area of the Hudson River in November of 1874. So yes, this grand beacon of light is approaching its 174th birthday.
Yes, it needs a few repairs and none that are all that minor. In 2020, the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse was added to New York State Preservation Leagues 'Seven to Save' list. The reasons, according to a press release (a pdf):
Deterioration, lack of public awareness, loss of visual/architectural integrity
The Hudson Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society (HALPS) is the steward and keeper of this lighthouse. The HALPS is conducting an underwater survey to see just how damaged the underside and the foundation is of the lighthouse.
The lighthouse itself is atop up to 200 pilings, which have been surrounded by stone rip rap. What is rip rap? Thank you to the Massachusetts Clean Water for the following definition:
Definition: A permanent, erosion-resistant ground cover of large, loose, angular stone.
Purpose: To protect slopes, streambanks, channels, or areas subject to erosion by wave action.
If no repairs or additional interventions take place, this gem could sadly continue to deteriorate. Yes, and worst-case scenario, it could sink.
If you find yourself to be in the area, the HALPS will be giving limited tours and access to the lighthouse during 2021. If you are interested in more information, or to take a tour, click here for their website.