Lilac Preservation Project

Lilac Preservation Project America's oldest Lighthouse Tender, LILAC is a museum ship open to the public on weekends from May to October. Admission is free. Owned and operated by the non-profit Lilac Preservation Project.

Operating as usual

Veteran fireman Albert Lester visited his old ship recently. He was assigned to LILAC right out of boot camp in 1965 and...
10/12/2021

Veteran fireman Albert Lester visited his old ship recently. He was assigned to LILAC right out of boot camp in 1965 and his first task on board was cleaning soot and klinker from the boiler tubes. He had lots of stories to share, all captured on video. Once edited, the video will join other "Tender Men's Tales" on our website

Veteran fireman Albert Lester visited his old ship recently. He was assigned to LILAC right out of boot camp in 1965 and his first task on board was cleaning soot and klinker from the boiler tubes. He had lots of stories to share, all captured on video. Once edited, the video will join other "Tender Men's Tales" on our website

Our volunteers are getting around, sharing their skills at Robbins Reef lighthouse.
10/09/2021

Our volunteers are getting around, sharing their skills at Robbins Reef lighthouse.

Artist Melissa Godoy-Nieto will be joining us for OHNY Weekend Oct 16 & 17. Meet her to discuss her work in the exhibiti...
10/09/2021

Artist Melissa Godoy-Nieto will be joining us for OHNY Weekend Oct 16 & 17. Meet her to discuss her work in the exhibition on board. No reservations required. @mgodoynieto

Artist Melissa Godoy-Nieto will be joining us for OHNY Weekend Oct 16 & 17. Meet her to discuss her work in the exhibition on board. No reservations required. @mgodoynieto

LILAC's original wheelstand and one of her telegraphs was found in Virginia by an employee of her previous owner. They a...
09/07/2021

LILAC's original wheelstand and one of her telegraphs was found in Virginia by an employee of her previous owner. They are on their way here, thanks to Vicky & Steve Steiro who picked them up yesterday on their way to New York City from North Carolina. They are also bringing the original U.S. Lighthouse Service emblems that Vicky's grandfather, Captain Charles L. Lewis, saved from the bow. It is, as an old friend liked to say, "an avalanche of abundance."

LILAC veteran Thomas Cannuli has crossed the bar.  We had a delightful time when we were part of a surprise visit his fa...
08/30/2021
Tom Cannuli - Sweeney Funeral Home

LILAC veteran Thomas Cannuli has crossed the bar. We had a delightful time when we were part of a surprise visit his family planned for him during Fleet Week 2017. Tom's family has kindly asked that contributions to Lilac Preservation Project be a way to remember him. We certainly won't forget him. His visit was immortalized in a video by The Tribeca Trib linked from our "Tender Men's Tales" page. Rest in peace, Tom; we have the watch.

http://sweeneyfamilyroom.com/celebration/tom-cannuli/

Tom was a quiet guy, but knew just about everyone in the area and everyone knew him. He kept everyone in Beverly looking sharp; Tom’s Barber […]

Another discovery--someone filmed Lilac's decommissioning ceremony in 8mm and Chief Frank Williams' son sent us a digita...
08/26/2021
Decommissioning Ceremony, USCGC LILAC, 28 January 1972

Another discovery--someone filmed Lilac's decommissioning ceremony in 8mm and Chief Frank Williams' son sent us a digital copy. Watch Lilac's last moments as a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter on our YouTube channel.

Digitized copy of 8 mm film

Thanks to our storm prep volunteers on Saturday, we were ready for Henri.
08/22/2021

Thanks to our storm prep volunteers on Saturday, we were ready for Henri.

08/01/2021

We are looking forward to meeting Frank Williams LILAC's last Chief Engineer tomorrow. He's visiting his old ship to celebrate turning 90. Happy birthday, Chief!

Video of 88 LILAC looks great and ends with a lovely quote about the potential of historic ships.https://www.youtube.com...
07/31/2021
88 Lilac

Video of 88 LILAC looks great and ends with a lovely quote about the potential of historic ships.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtEMWZMANi8

88 Lilac is a temporary public art installation designed in two parts and conceived to inspire public inquiry into the past, present, and future of the vess...

As hurricane season gets well underway with tropical storms heading up the coast, we're making sure the ship is tight, l...
07/09/2021

As hurricane season gets well underway with tropical storms heading up the coast, we're making sure the ship is tight, like replacing the plug in this deck pe*******on.

As hurricane season gets well underway with tropical storms heading up the coast, we're making sure the ship is tight, like replacing the plug in this deck pe*******on.

Lilac's last XO John Williams also sent us an original invitation to her decommissioning ceremony. This ceremony on Janu...
06/14/2021

Lilac's last XO John Williams also sent us an original invitation to her decommissioning ceremony. This ceremony on January 28, 1972 at Gloucester City, NJ precedes the date given in her National Register nomination which says she was decommissioned at Curtis Bay, MD on February 3rd. By the time she got to the shipyard there she was no longer the Coast Guard Cutter Lilac, but just a ship soon to be modified and donated to Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO.

Lilac's last XO John Williams also sent us an original invitation to her decommissioning ceremony. This ceremony on January 28, 1972 at Gloucester City, NJ precedes the date given in her National Register nomination which says she was decommissioned at Curtis Bay, MD on February 3rd. By the time she got to the shipyard there she was no longer the Coast Guard Cutter Lilac, but just a ship soon to be modified and donated to Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO.

More artifacts keep turning up in our mailbox. LILAC's last Executive Officer, John Williams, sent us skeleton keys and ...
06/08/2021

More artifacts keep turning up in our mailbox. LILAC's last Executive Officer, John Williams, sent us skeleton keys and one half of the embossing seal used for official documents. The Commanding Officer at the time took the other half of the seal. They were required to destroy it when the ship was decommissioned in 1972, but received no guidance on how to do so. They cut the two faces off with a hacksaw and each took one and felt they'd met the intent of the regulations.

Today at 3:00 PM is the National Moment of Remembrance. Please pause in your day to remember those who have given all in...
05/31/2021
Taps Across America Memorial Day at 3 pm

Today at 3:00 PM is the National Moment of Remembrance. Please pause in your day to remember those who have given all in the service of our country to keep us free and safe. One way these valiant men and women are being commemorated today is with Taps Across America. https://youtu.be/TxLEJbLmf6g

Taps Across America Memorial Day at 3 pm Information and registration at: www.TapsAcrossAmerica.orgwww.TapsForVeterans.org#TapsAcrossAmerica #CBSTaps #TapsFo...

Aids to Navigation
05/28/2021
Aids to Navigation

Aids to Navigation

To learn more about LILAC’s 88 years as a lighthouse tender hit the play button to hear a dramatic account from her second captain. Captain Lewis is performed by actor, Robert Dalton

Happy birthday, LILAC!  Thanks to Untapped New York for helping us find a way to celebrate her 88th birthday.https://unt...
05/28/2021
Art Installation on Lighthouse Tender LILAC Celebrates 88 Years - Untapped New York

Happy birthday, LILAC! Thanks to Untapped New York for helping us find a way to celebrate her 88th birthday.

https://untappedcities.com/2021/05/28/lighthouse-tender-lilac/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=8d6bd086f4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_6_2019_11_58_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c04245c7de-8d6bd086f4-1205640609&mc_cid=8d6bd086f4&mc_eid=cb27bcfc76

A new art installation on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 melds historic photography and audio wrapped around the boat's smokestack.

LILAC hosted Kristine Esser Slentz during Poetry Month in April.  We can't wait to hear what she has created with inspir...
05/18/2021
NYC Poets Afloat - Group Reading at South Street Seaport Museum

LILAC hosted Kristine Esser Slentz during Poetry Month in April. We can't wait to hear what she has created with inspiration from her micro-residency here. This open-air reading on board the WAVERTREE at South Street Seaport Museum is Sunday. Space is limited and COVID restrictions apply. If you aren't able to make it, a recording will allow you to hear the reading at a later date.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nyc-poets-afloat-group-reading-at-south-street-seaport-museum-tickets-154089631235

Join us for a group poetry reading by NYC Poets Afloat aboard the tall ship Wavertree!

So sweet to be remembered! We miss having kids on board.
05/10/2021

So sweet to be remembered! We miss having kids on board.

Beautiful South Bronx kids, oh how we miss you! Pictures taken at the Lilac Preservation Project-America's Only Steam-Powered Lighthouse Tender. We hope they open back up soon!

Involved in what is said to be the biggest marine evacuation in history, it would be apt that ADAK join the very small f...
05/10/2021
The USCG Cutter That Led the 9-11 Sealift May be Sold to Indonesia

Involved in what is said to be the biggest marine evacuation in history, it would be apt that ADAK join the very small fleet of Coast Guard museum ships. Not many vessels have been saved to commemorate this incredible service and the men and women who never hesitate to go out.

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/the-uscg-cutter-that-led-the-9-11-sealift-may-be-sold-to-indonesia

The Indonesia Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) is not interested in buying USCGC Adak, a historica...

Our veteran Mike Rankin has continued to share memories with us. We discovered one of the photos he'd sent is not actual...
05/04/2021

Our veteran Mike Rankin has continued to share memories with us. We discovered one of the photos he'd sent is not actually on LILAC. But, it is part of his story of serving in the Coast Guard. "This must be on board the OWASCO. You can see two petty officer stripes. I didn't get second class (E5) until on board the Weather Cutter. The laundry bag and unkempt rack, tells me we were out to sea. Long hair too." For more on the OWASCO, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USCGC_Owasco_(WHEC-39)

Our veteran Mike Rankin has continued to share memories with us. We discovered one of the photos he'd sent is not actually on LILAC. But, it is part of his story of serving in the Coast Guard. "This must be on board the OWASCO. You can see two petty officer stripes. I didn't get second class (E5) until on board the Weather Cutter. The laundry bag and unkempt rack, tells me we were out to sea. Long hair too." For more on the OWASCO, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USCGC_Owasco_(WHEC-39)

04/24/2021
Portside mud scupper removal

Farewell to the mud scuppers. These were at some point added to keep mud from buoys contained on the buoy deck, but they became a catcher of other debris that was causing deck corrosion and were trip hazards for crew and visitors. The portside one was installed by the better welder and much harder to remove than the starboard one.

Another of our volunteer crew has crossed the bar. We are saddened to report that Andrew Thurman passed away last week. ...
04/20/2021

Another of our volunteer crew has crossed the bar. We are saddened to report that Andrew Thurman passed away last week. He was a devoted sailor and Coast Guard Auxiliarist. We are pleased to learn that he has been posthumously promoted to Flotilla Commander. Fair winds and following seas, Auxie!

Another of our volunteer crew has crossed the bar. We are saddened to report that Andrew Thurman passed away last week. He was a devoted sailor and Coast Guard Auxiliarist. We are pleased to learn that he has been posthumously promoted to Flotilla Commander. Fair winds and following seas, Auxie!

Vice Admiral Fagan, a former Captain Of The Port of New York, is being promoted to vice commandant, making her the Coast...
04/19/2021
Biden selects first woman four-star admiral for the Coast Guard

Vice Admiral Fagan, a former Captain Of The Port of New York, is being promoted to vice commandant, making her the Coast Guard's first woman to achieve four-star rank. Go, Linda!

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2021/04/19/biden-to-announce-first-woman-four-star-admiral-for-the-coast-guard/#.YH2PvPkVqt0.facebook

President Joe Biden plans to nominate Coast Guard Vice Adm. Linda Fagan to the role of vice commandant, making her the first woman to achieve a fourth-star in the service, Defense News has learned.

We just found out that Webb Institute students Ian Cosic and Cross Weeks will be presenting the results of the inclining...
04/13/2021
Student Papers Night Presented by the NY Met Section

We just found out that Webb Institute students Ian Cosic and Cross Weeks will be presenting the results of the inclining test done on LILAC last November and discuss how it will inform future planning. You can register for the April 21st SNAME event for free after creating an account.
https://communities.sname.org/newyorkmetropolitansection/events/event-description?CalendarEventKey=d614c529-4382-4658-838c-69e1dc5f3ec4&CommunityKey=7f321c6a-24b7-4320-86db-9250d6e026b5&Home=%2fevents%2fcalendar

Please note - Registration will close on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. A link to join the webinar will

Blanking off a no-longer-used scupper fitting in the hull, we found we had see-through pipe behind the elbow containing ...
04/06/2021

Blanking off a no-longer-used scupper fitting in the hull, we found we had see-through pipe behind the elbow containing the flap valve. All these connections, once used to pump overboard, have now been inspected and blank-off plates welded or bolted on, depending on the particular condition.

Blanking off a no-longer-used scupper fitting in the hull, we found we had see-through pipe behind the elbow containing the flap valve. All these connections, once used to pump overboard, have now been inspected and blank-off plates welded or bolted on, depending on the particular condition.

We love the book "The Girl With A Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague". It's about a girl who was inspired by a vi...
03/22/2021
Raye Montague: The "Hidden Figure" Who Revolutionized Naval Ship Design

We love the book "The Girl With A Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague". It's about a girl who was inspired by a visit to a submarine to become a ship engineer. No one believed a black woman could design a ship but she proved them all wrong! Other recommended books and activities can be found on the Kids' Deck of LILAC's website.

https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=21070

This trailblazing engineer became the first person in history to design a Naval ship using a computer.

We posted last August about the box of treasures donated by Lilac veteran Conrad Sirca who saved a number of artifacts f...
03/17/2021

We posted last August about the box of treasures donated by Lilac veteran Conrad Sirca who saved a number of artifacts from LILAC when she was decommissioned in 1972. He sent a clinometer that he remembered as coming from Lilac's bridge. But, it didn't look anything like the one in the photo taken by veteran Mike Rankin at about the same time. The mystery has been solved! Conrad ran into a good friend whose father had served in the Navy during WWII. The lovely brass clinometer had been a gift from him. We shipped it back and it's already hanging in his den again. Luke found a near-match to the original on eBay and donated it for installation on LILAC.

As much as we love our old girl, it is about time for some new ones.https://www.workboat.com/government/coast-guard-look...
03/12/2021
Coast Guard looks to 2030 for replacement of its aging buoy tenders

As much as we love our old girl, it is about time for some new ones.
https://www.workboat.com/government/coast-guard-looks-to-2030-for-replacement-of-its-aging-buoy-tenders?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=newsletter&mkt_tok=NzU2LUZXSi0wNjEAAAF7wra1VczePmNbI39nnW6QXd_WkmGNarCMuJFQ6S26h5pgGYblxMNvy6U1LrZBC4gk1kIJ8JcoMctU7x775pAiCctp2P2kG1DenVrB8Sm20o1h

The Coast Guard has begun the early steps of replacing its aging fleet of buoy tenders that service aids to navigation (ATON) in federal inland waterways. The current fleet of 35 river buoy tenders, i

03/05/2021

As we look forward to the end of winter, a look back at the winter of 1935-36 reveals that unusually severe ice conditions caused extensive damage to aids to navigation in the North Atlantic districts of the Lighthouse Service. The resulting repairs cost the equivalent of over $7 million in today's dollars. The U.S. Lighthouse Service Bulletin reported:

"The lighthouse tenders in all five districts throughout this period
were taxed to the utmost, their crews performing extraordinary service through long hours under discouraging difficulties. The tender Lilac in the fourth district, and the tender Violet in the fifth district, both suffered broken propellers while working in the ice, and were immediately drydocked for replacements. The total estimated cost of repair and replacement of aids to navigation, based on known losses from ice damage as of March 1, is $390,000."

A delightful glimpse into history from Ray Midgett, this letter to his father indicates that the river to Philly was pav...
02/28/2021

A delightful glimpse into history from Ray Midgett, this letter to his father indicates that the river to Philly was paved with buoys that lost their way.

A delightful glimpse into history from Ray Midgett, this letter to his father indicates that the river to Philly was paved with buoys that lost their way.

Address

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

Opening Hours

Saturday 2pm - 6pm
Sunday 2pm - 6pm

Telephone

(917) 709-5291

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Comments

Congratulations to the LILAC for its recognition by the National Maritime Historical Society!
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' !!!