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Home > Arts & Events > Little Red Lighthouse

Little Red Lighthouse

Riverside Dr. at 181st. St., New York, NY 10034 40.851403 -73.941288
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212-304-2365 Send to Phone

Photo by Jed Egan

Official Website

Nearby Subway Stops

A at 181st St.


  • Street Parking


This diminutive 40-foot tall lighthouse was installed on Jeffrey's Hook in 1921 to warn ships of a treacherous spit of land. In the early 30s, however, the lights of the George Washington Bridge made it redundant. Decommissioned in 1948, the nautical structure would have been dismantled, if not for a beloved children's book inspired by its story: Hildegarde Swift's The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge (with illustrations by Lynd Ward). A public outcry, generated by thousands of children's letters, saved the lighthouse which was thereafter deeded to the city. Still, hard times lay ahead. After decades of neglect and vandalism, this quirky tourist site underwent a renovation in the mid-80s and then a full restoration in 2000. Today, the last remaining lighthouse on Manhattan looks as good as new, with a fresh coat of the bright red paint that made it famous.


A few tables and benches have been set up next to the lighthouse for those looking to have picnic lunches.

The Urban Park Rangers offer afternoon tours of the interior of the lighthouse approximately once a month in the spring and summer and fall. For more info, call 212-628-2345.