Lilac Preservation Project

Lilac Preservation Project America's oldest Lighthouse Tender, LILAC is a museum ship normally open to the public seasonally. She is CLOSED for 2020 due to COVID-19. Owned and operated by the non-profit Lilac Preservation Project.
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Operating as usual

"Service life extension" means keeping machinery running beyond its expected lifespan. The Coast Guard are masters of th...
09/05/2020
New Missions Push Old Coast Guard Assets To The Brink

"Service life extension" means keeping machinery running beyond its expected lifespan. The Coast Guard are masters of this, embodied by LILAC which was in service for 40 years and still running on reciprocating steam engines when retired in 1972. She was and is not alone, as recognized in this article from Forbes.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2020/09/03/new-missions-push-old-coast-guard-assets-to-the-brink/amp/

For the U.S. Coast Guard, years of underfunded toil is now paying off in new ships and influence. In a risky strategy, the Service is pushing their oldest assets to the absolute limits, paving the way for new, more capable ships—and more complex missions—to follow.

We got a wonderful box of gifts from veteran Conrad Sirco a few days ago. He was a crewmember when LILAC was decommissio...
08/31/2020

We got a wonderful box of gifts from veteran Conrad Sirco a few days ago. He was a crewmember when LILAC was decommissioned and had saved several items, including the last ensign that flew from her mast. We had planned to have a ceremony in May to accept these items from him in person, but the pandemic canceled that. He decided that we shouldn't wait any longer and put them in a box, along with other artifacts he'd collected from a friend in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and a photo of himself surrounded by the collection. It was like Christmas! We will post about each item over the coming weeks. Special thanks to our friend @Paul Farace at the USS Cod for putting us in touch and reuniting Conrad with his old ship.

It is just a few days to the The 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII. The Coast Guard was active in all the battles of...
08/28/2020
The Long Blue Line: The attack on Pearl Harbor—“a date that will live in infamy” « Coast Guard COAST GUARD COMPASS

It is just a few days to the The 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII. The Coast Guard was active in all the battles of the Pacific, including Pearl Harbor. Lest we forget. https://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2017/12/the-long-blue-line-the-attack-on-pearl-harbor-a-date-that-will-live-in-infamy/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheCoastGuardCompass+%28The+Coast+Guard+Compass%29

This blog is part of a series honoring the long blue line of Coast Guard men and women who served before us. Stay tuned as we highlight the customs, traditions, history and heritage of the Coast Guard.

Lest we forget, as the anniversary of the Japanese surrender approaches. the Coast Guard was an integral part of the War...
08/25/2020
Coast Guard WWII hero laid to rest

Lest we forget, as the anniversary of the Japanese surrender approaches. the Coast Guard was an integral part of the War in the Pacific. Few Americans know that Coastguardsmen served in foreign waters, far from the coasts of home.

https://compass.coastguard.blog/2013/06/06/coast-guard-wwii-hero-laid-to-rest/

Retired Coast Guard Cmdr. Ray Evans, 92, was laid to rest June 5, with full military honors. Evans, who passed away May 30, was the final survivor of a dramatic rescue of a group of Marines pinned …

A delayed departure from NYC brought some of the USS Slater crew to LILAC for a tour. They have always been really welco...
08/24/2020

A delayed departure from NYC brought some of the USS Slater crew to LILAC for a tour. They have always been really welcoming to us and we were glad to have the chance to return the favor.

A powerful moment in history approaches. In just under two weeks, events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end o...
08/20/2020

A powerful moment in history approaches. In just under two weeks, events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII will be underway. Imagine standing on the decks of the Battleship Missouri Memorial witnessing General Douglas MacArthur presenting The Instrument of Surrender to the Japanese. Imagine that celebratory moment when WWII was finally over. Join The 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII livestream on September 2 to honor the WWII Veterans and relive that moment with them. #wwii2020

Our volunteers use their elbow grease to make the ship shine. The ventilators are definitely getting shinier.
08/15/2020

Our volunteers use their elbow grease to make the ship shine. The ventilators are definitely getting shinier.

Happy Coast Guard Day! On this birthday, we usually get special visits from our veterans who share their memories of ser...
08/04/2020
Coast Guard Birthday

Happy Coast Guard Day! On this birthday, we usually get special visits from our veterans who share their memories of service on LILAC. With the ship closed, we are missing these visits, but you can hear some of the recorded stories on our website. Semper paratus.
https://www.military.com/coast-guard-birthday

The Coast Guard is one of America's five armed forces and traces its founding to Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue.

Why would we be interested in a lighthouse on Long Island sound? Because Bill Heisig, one of our veterans, included it i...
07/29/2020

Why would we be interested in a lighthouse on Long Island sound? Because Bill Heisig, one of our veterans, included it in a painting of LILAC that now hangs in her Ward Room. She never visited that light, but he lived near it and fancifully put his tender and his lighthouse together.

https://www.newyorkalmanack.com/2020/07/stepping-stones-light/

Last Sunday, we cleared old ventilating pipe from the hold. It had been stored in the ammo (later canned goods) locker s...
07/24/2020

Last Sunday, we cleared old ventilating pipe from the hold. It had been stored in the ammo (later canned goods) locker since before any of us can remember. From the stenciling on it, it was clearly original to the ship and probably removed when SIU put in the electric heat pumps and ducting for forced air heat. We moved it out on deck and took photos before sending it off to the scrapper. One section was too long to move up the ladder without cutting it. Another was so heavy that Captain Mary joked that maybe there was a body inside. When we tipped it, a pile of rust fell out and it got a lot lighter. We discovered a cute cartoon figure on the diffuser. Anyone remember that?

Shopping for parts to get the old Webb Perfection stove working again and Augie showed us a 1940s ledger entry for Lilac...
07/17/2020

Shopping for parts to get the old Webb Perfection stove working again and Augie showed us a 1940s ledger entry for Lilac--perhaps from the last time she needed stove parts.

Lilac got a new deck ring fabricated by Luke, primed by Captain Mary.  It replaces one long missing from the starboard s...
07/02/2020

Lilac got a new deck ring fabricated by Luke, primed by Captain Mary. It replaces one long missing from the starboard side of the focsle. It was removed when an air conditioning unit was installed, probably by Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO (because we know the Coasties didn't have it). That long-defunct AC unit was removed by us a few years ago. The area is now being repaired including closing up deck penetrations.

You can now contribute to LILAC when you purchase items from Amazon. They will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases if you ...
06/20/2020
Support Lilac Preservation Project by shopping at AmazonSmile.

You can now contribute to LILAC when you purchase items from Amazon. They will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases if you select us as your chosen charity. Thank you for your support!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to Lilac Preservation Project. Support us every time you shop.

Museum Director Mary Habstritt will be giving a virtual presentation on LILAC's history and our work to preserve her for...
06/16/2020
Virtual Tour of the LILAC Museum Steamship - Untapped New York

Museum Director Mary Habstritt will be giving a virtual presentation on LILAC's history and our work to preserve her for Untapped New York tomorrow, June 17th at 12:00 noon. Although it is for their Insider members, you can join for free with the code STAYHOME. If you are already on LILAC's email list, you'll get a link to watch for free.

https://untappedcities.com/events/tour-of-the-lilac-museum-steamship/

Join us on a virtual tour of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter LILAC, America’s oldest lighthouse tender, with Museum Director Mary Habstritt and Operations Director Luke Gayford. She will discuss LILAC’s historic and vital work of tending lighthouses and buoys for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and Coas...

06/16/2020
U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic

The job of setting a buoy hasn't changed much since LILAC was at work. Check out this video of the USCGC JAMES RANKIN setting a special buoy that commemorates our national anthem.

Yesterday, June 6, was the 76th anniversary of D-Day when American troops made the largest amphibious landing ever on th...
06/08/2020
Remembering D-Day’s Coast Guard heroes « Coast Guard COAST GUARD COMPASS

Yesterday, June 6, was the 76th anniversary of D-Day when American troops made the largest amphibious landing ever on the shores of Normandy, France. Little known is that the U.S. Coast Guard was in the thick of it, providing critical support to the invasion. In commemoration, read about the Coast Guardsmen who were there, some of whom gave their lives. (The links within the story don't seem to work anymore, but you can search "D-Day" on the Coast Guard Compass sidebar and find more stories on this topic.)

https://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2010/06/remembering-d-days-coast-guard-heroes/

A humble homemade cake for LILAC's 87th birthday. This is for the crew. LILAC will get oil and rivets later today.
05/26/2020

A humble homemade cake for LILAC's 87th birthday. This is for the crew. LILAC will get oil and rivets later today.

Lest we forget.
05/25/2020
Memorial Day Ceremony by MBVIDEO

Lest we forget.

Watch MBVIDEO's Memorial Day Ceremony on Livestream.com. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will host its annual Memorial Day commemoration through a virtual ceremony that invites the public to join the Museum in honoring the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the Unite...

05/24/2020

Traditionally, we open the ship for the summer on Memorial Day weekend.

Iron & Steel Preservation - ISP describes a visit last fall by Vern Mesler and Nan Jackson to the ship. The newsletter h...
05/19/2020

Iron & Steel Preservation - ISP describes a visit last fall by Vern Mesler and Nan Jackson to the ship. The newsletter has great photos of parts of Lilac not open to the public so it's a nice behind-the-scenes peek belowdecks. Take a look!

Iron & Steel Preservation Newsletter
Lilac Lighthouse Tender Preservation Project
Link: https://conta.cc/37Lnyzo

The one remaining and very corroded cargo hatch grille we found in storage turned out to be made of solid stock. Unless ...
05/14/2020

The one remaining and very corroded cargo hatch grille we found in storage turned out to be made of solid stock. Unless the boom goes back into operation, there's no way we'd ever be able to move it back and forth for ventilation, so away it goes. We'll use the steel stock for other project and we'll make replica grilles someday from something lighter. We have the original drawings to guide us. And, if you're worried about ventilation in the hold, note that the well deck awning has reduced the heat and humidity below dramatically since its installation. In addition, we have an automatic fan running on a humidistat to help keep things dry down there.

05/07/2020
The River Project

Our environmental program in partnership with The River Project is shut down for now due to COVID-19. The fish are still out and about.

On Sunday our Director of Education drove to Lilac Preservation Project steamship in Hudson River Park to check fish traps and take them out of the water with the help of her quarantine buddy. Although we’ve halted our Fish Survey during NYC on PAUSE (for the longest time since we started sampling year-round 10 years ago), we weren’t able to take our collection gear out of the river before the stay-at-home order began. While we would normally never keep traps in the water for more than a week without monitoring them, we decided up until now to refrain from going into work to check traps because past years’ data shows that we rarely catch fish in April and we wanted to prioritize the health of our staff and the public. However, with temperatures rising, we expected more fish activity in May, so we decided to empty the traps and take them out of the water until normal schedules can resume. It was a pretty big catch—14 blackfish and 1 seahorse between 24 total traps. We were glad to see that every animal looked healthy and all were returned to the river.

A few weeks back, the plan was to fry some eggs on the new knee in the Crew Head, but the guys forgot the eggs. So the k...
04/17/2020

A few weeks back, the plan was to fry some eggs on the new knee in the Crew Head, but the guys forgot the eggs. So the knee was recently heated up just for egg-frying. Note the use of hose clamps to keep the eggs neat and in place.)( And, yes, they were eaten--in the open air on the well deck by the essential crew.

Last project done, two weeks ago, was replacing the plastic water supply hose with stainless steel.  Hudson River Park t...
04/04/2020

Last project done, two weeks ago, was replacing the plastic water supply hose with stainless steel. Hudson River Park turned on the water service early, so our heads are operating again.

03/25/2020

Today, March 25, is National Medal of Honor Day. This award recognizes those who have distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. It is a rare and selective award--only one Coastguardsman has ever received it. We are surrounded these days by people going above and beyond the call of duty. It doesn't mean they are not afraid. Courage means doing the job anyway. Thank you to all who carry on.

Address

Lilac Preservation Project At Hudson River Park'S Pier 25, N Moore St And West St
New York, NY
10013

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Comments

Hey, I recognize this ship! Dare Devil Season 2 Episode 11. Exteriors shots were filmed on deck, but I'm not sure if the interiors shots were done on the Lilac or on a set. I don't recognize the pier. Was she towed to another pier for this shoot, or were the surroundings added in digitally?
This is my dad WR “Bill” Cofer. I don’t know much about his service but think he was on the Lilac. He LOVED the Coast Guard! How can I find out which ships he was on? I know he was on the Courier. I also remember a Christmas party on a ship.
“Hello folks... This is your chance to help save a the LILAC instead of lamenting later when she’s gone. The LILAC is currently collecting donations to match a $5,000 challenge grant. If they can meet this goal by the end of the year, your dollars will be doubled. With your help, that means $10,000 to restore LILAC and create more great programs in 2018! You can send a check to Lilac Preservation Project, 80 White Street, New York, NY 10013. To pay via Paypal, go to the Lilac’s website. http://www.lilacpreservationproject.org/ All donations before December 31st will count toward the match. I am no way connected to her except, a retired Coastie that got to visit the past….”
Captain Mary at the Exhibit closing party :)
See Bell 8 - relax and 'dare to do nothing' !!!