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Lilac Preservation Project

Lilac Preservation Project America's oldest Lighthouse Tender, LILAC is a museum ship open to the public on weekends from May t

Operating as usual

Photos from Northeast Public Safety Divers's post
06/10/2022

Photos from Northeast Public Safety Divers's post

Classic Harbor Line is again including Lilac in a Day of Giving, this time celebrating World Environment Day. On Sunday,...
06/05/2022
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Classic Harbor Line is again including Lilac in a Day of Giving, this time celebrating World Environment Day. On Sunday, June 5, if you buy a gift certificate for an excursion on a Classic Harbor Line vessel, they will donate 100 percent of the purchase to us. On the purchase form you will have an option to choose Lilac Preservation Project as the non-profit to benefit from your purchase. This expires tonight at midnight!

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LILAC had only one known casualty during her 40 years of active duty. We knew that one of the crew had died trying to sa...
06/01/2022
Howard Jensen - Recipient -

LILAC had only one known casualty during her 40 years of active duty. We knew that one of the crew had died trying to save another. Thanks to John Thoma, we learned his name: Howard Anton Jensen. Bill Thiesen at the Coast Guard Historian's office told us that the Military Times recently added non-combat recipients of the Coast Guard Medal to its "Hall of Valor." Howard Jensen's citation may be read there:

05/30/2022

Reading "The Coast Guard: Small Service With A Big Mission" in the July, 1974 National Geographic sent to us by Orlando Gallardo Jr. It ends with this quote: "The rules say we have to go. But there's no rule that says we have to come back." On this Memorial Day, we wish peace to those who have not come back; to those who are out there today, be well and stay safe. Thank you. Semper paratus.

Thank you to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum for donating this surplus steam whistle to LILAC and to their volunteer Walt ...
05/16/2022

Thank you to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum for donating this surplus steam whistle to LILAC and to their volunteer Walt Randolph for overseeing the shipment. LILAC's whistle is long gone. This one will go up on the stack to replace it one day soon.

Although we're looking forward to welding in a new fitting for our sewer line to replace the one we broke at the shipyar...
05/06/2022

Although we're looking forward to welding in a new fitting for our sewer line to replace the one we broke at the shipyard and getting our sinks and heads back into operation, we are getting along fine with the composting toilets that served us all winter, thanks to Toilets for People. They were still something of a start-up when they dropped components off to us over a year ago.

LILAC is returning to Hudson River Park's Pier 25 tomorrow (Wed, April 27, 2022). ETA is 0930. Welcome her back!
04/26/2022

LILAC is returning to Hudson River Park's Pier 25 tomorrow (Wed, April 27, 2022). ETA is 0930. Welcome her back!

Last Sunday, we fitted new plate in the bulkhead between the Crew Head and Buoy Deck. The new low-profile magnetic drill...
04/15/2022

Last Sunday, we fitted new plate in the bulkhead between the Crew Head and Buoy Deck. The new low-profile magnetic drill got a workout.

Lilac's mare's nest of wiring is being detangled as part of our work at the shipyard. That has left a snarl of wires on ...
04/11/2022

Lilac's mare's nest of wiring is being detangled as part of our work at the shipyard. That has left a snarl of wires on the pier. The wiring was clearly a long-term problem as a CG veteran told us that when he was a 2d class Electronics Technician, he was called in to solve a serious radio problem on Lilac that required consulting with the Chief ET from New York. A letter his wife found recently said, "Warren is quite disgusted with the whole mess because it's apparently a problem with the ship's wiring. They worked until 11 pm last night, will be working all day today and possibly tomorrow as well." That was in 1962!

A fountain erupted when our gangway knocked a valve off the pier waterline on Sunday. We put the new damage control kit ...
03/29/2022

A fountain erupted when our gangway knocked a valve off the pier waterline on Sunday. We put the new damage control kit to good use, although this is not how we envisioned first using it. David released pressure by opening another valve further out and then Luke pounded in a wooden plug to stop the leak.

Focsle repairs continue. Here we're removing rivets and cutting out corroded steel plate from the aft bulkhead in the Cr...
03/18/2022

Focsle repairs continue. Here we're removing rivets and cutting out corroded steel plate from the aft bulkhead in the Crew Head. The new metal saw from worked great. (Luke was cackling while using it.) Rivets were flying across the Buoy Deck as they were popped out. We picked them up and are saving them for souvenirs to give and sell. Several volunteers have already taken one home--a small reward for their work.

03/14/2022

Admiral Karl Schultz says, "Our history shapes our trajectory--the Coast Guard's rich history is a story that must be told!" Amen. Watch more of his message in the video posted at National Coast Guard Museum Association

Focsle restoration work included demolition in the Crew Washroom on the port side and steel work in the Paint Locker and...
03/04/2022

Focsle restoration work included demolition in the Crew Washroom on the port side and steel work in the Paint Locker and Crew Head on the starboard side.

Our college women did a great job replacing treads on the Engine Room ladder.
02/25/2022

Our college women did a great job replacing treads on the Engine Room ladder.

Volunteers showed a lot of love to LILAC this Valentine's week. Portside fuel tanks were declared gas free so the shipya...
02/17/2022

Volunteers showed a lot of love to LILAC this Valentine's week. Portside fuel tanks were declared gas free so the shipyard welders could come in and work on the Mess deck, electrical wiring was repaired, new stair treads were bolted into the Engine Room ladder (no more warnings about that wonky step near the bottom), and a heap of tile (below) was removed from Forward Berthing. The pneumatic chisel has proven invaluable for this project. Under the tile, we are finding the deck in remarkably good shape. The one area that is holed is where crew lockers once stood against the aft bulkhead.

One of the tasks during last Sunday's work session was assembling a plugging kit, including damage control plugs and wed...
02/09/2022

One of the tasks during last Sunday's work session was assembling a plugging kit, including damage control plugs and wedges from Pajono Woodworks, a veteran-owned company. We re-purposed a donated tool bag and added a mallet and saw. Feeling more prepared for times like when rubbing against the pier broke the fitting off our sewer line a few weeks ago.

The rooftop tank was welded in place last week. This will become the day tank for the back-up generator and heating boil...
01/26/2022

The rooftop tank was welded in place last week. This will become the day tank for the back-up generator and heating boiler. Plumbing yet to be done will connect it to a large existing tank in the hold and will free us from getting fuel in 5-gallon jerricans at the gas station. It was a lovely evening to be working at the shipyard.

We recently removed the tables from the Crew Mess, part of the preparation to repair the deck which is also the top of o...
01/14/2022

We recently removed the tables from the Crew Mess, part of the preparation to repair the deck which is also the top of one of the main fuel tanks. Years of a leak in the Pilothouse roof had water finding its way down through the bulkhead in the Gyro Room to the Mess deck. Additional damage was probably done by years of cleaning fluid finding its way in. (That's why we don't use bleach for cleaning--it's very corrosive and no one's going to eat off the floor.) Much of the damage was hidden under tile and concrete that we demolished a few years ago when we covered the holes temporarily with plywood. The tables were firmly bolted down so we had to cut the bolts, disassemble as much as we could in the tight confines, and then wiggle the heavy steel frames out to the deck for further disassembly. After the plywood was lifted, the crew went to work with grinders to remove remaining concrete and rust from the Mess deck.

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered daylight in the Crew Quarters where daylight should not be. It was peeking through ...
01/02/2022

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered daylight in the Crew Quarters where daylight should not be. It was peeking through where an old scupper met the hull and the end of the pipe had rotted. The hole had been hidden by fiberglass insulation installed circa 1950s. We've been on a multi-year campaign to tear that out so we can get a look behind to assess conditions. We immediately cut the scupper away and blanked off the hole. The elbow was completely filled with rust, but some of these heavy fittings can be re-used once we clean them up.

Photos from Lilac Preservation Project's post
12/29/2021

Photos from Lilac Preservation Project's post

A beautiful image for the shortest day of the year from the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation. Harbor of Refuge...
12/21/2021

A beautiful image for the shortest day of the year from the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation. Harbor of Refuge light is one that was tended by LILAC in her active-duty days. DRBLF now owns and tends to it. Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation

We recently made contact with John C. "Jack" Midgett who was second last captain of the LILAC. He was also the first Mid...
12/17/2021

We recently made contact with John C. "Jack" Midgett who was second last captain of the LILAC. He was also the first Midgett of the legendary family to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. We are looking for a copy of the July 1974 National Geographic which contained a photo of members of the Midgett clan aboard CGC MIDGETT. Jack is in the foreground. Can anyone help us out with an original copy of that magazine? It would make a nice holiday gift to the LILAC archives.

12/01/2021

Taking cover off Emergency Steering Gear

11/11/2021

Happy Veterans Day to all Coasties! We are grateful to all of you for your service, but we have special appreciation and affection for the ATON teams. Stay safe out there.

LILAC is at her work berth on Staten Island after a successful move on Tuesday.
11/04/2021

LILAC is at her work berth on Staten Island after a successful move on Tuesday.

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

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.

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."

Address

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

Opening Hours

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

Telephone

+19177095291

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Congratulations to the Lilac Preservation Project on 50 years of retirement! On January 28, 1972, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter LILAC was decommissioned in a ceremony at Gloucester Base on the Delaware River. You can see the LILAC berthed at Hudson River Park's Pier 25 (north side of the pier).

Watch the decommissioning ceremony by clicking the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAcqzicgFe8
Erin Urban and the Noble Crew are gearing up to begin repainting the exterior of Robbins Reef lighthouse. We’re shuttling equipment to the light and looking for volunteers who can help the pros while they're hanging from the gallery to paint when the weather is right.

Those pros are Luke Gayford and Angus Mcamy, who were introduced to us by the Lilac Preservation Project. Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Company and the Lilac Preservation Project loaned us rigging equipment so Angus and Luke can hang off the side of the lighthouse to do the hard to reach white paint.

Tony Cucurollo and his brother Fred recently cleaned and repaired our generator, which we returned to Robbins Reef along with a lot of other materials, including line (rope), staging planks, shackles; wire rope, cable clamps, chafing gear, another generator, one chipping hammer, clean rags, buckets, paint brushes, rollers and roller holders, and turpentine. On one recent trip it took 45 minutes to unload everything from the launch to the lighthouse caisson while Captain Santos Diaz patiently held the boat against the landing.

Regular repairs and restoration continue with work on the kitchen door lock and making the storm door fit better. Captain James Hyndman of Miller’s Launch noted that the wire ropes supporting our landing at the caisson need to be repaired.

There’s a real need for volunteers to assist Angus and Luke in the exterior work. The days they go out are during the workweek, determined by weather, with a 3pm departure and 6:30 return to Miller’s Launch.

(photos by Erin Urban and from the Streamtime Live Camera at The Waterfront Museum.)
This week we are wishing Happy 88th Birthday to the LILAC– Lilac Preservation Project (seen here on 's Pier 25)! To celebrate the anniversary of LILAC's launch on May 26, 1933, historic images now adorn her stack. These can be viewed from 's Pier 25 while the ship remains closed to the public.

The LILAC looks forward to welcoming visitors aboard later this summer – visit our website for more details. Join us in wishing LILAC a very Happy Birthday by commenting below!
"New York is a city of islands, but New Yorkers can forget that we have always been and still are dependent upon our waterways." Hear more about from Mary Habstritt, Museum Director & President of Lilac Preservation Project in this recent edition of . https://waterfrontalliance.org/2021/03/25/women-of-the-waterfront-mary-habstritt/
to the Lilac Preservation Project

The LILAC is a retired Coast Guard cutter that carried supplies to lighthouses and maintained buoys from 1933 to 1972. It is the only surviving steam-powered lighthouse tender and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

LILAC is a museum ship owned and operated by the Lilac Preservation Project. The organization offers tours, exhibitions, and events as it works to restore the ship.

📸Photo by



[Image description: A ship sits on the water under a crescent moon with a city skyline in the background.]
Congratulations to the LILAC for its recognition by the National Maritime Historical Society!

All along the Park’s four+ miles, you’ll find historic ships, like the steamboat LILAC (Lilac Preservation Project) pictured here at ’s Pier 25. Learn more: https://hudsonriverpark.org/visit/activities-and-attractions/on-the-water/
Tomorrow, 6/17, join Captain Mary Habstritt for a virtual tour of the Lilac Preservation Project museum steamship.

If you’ve ever noticed the ship that we’re on when we check fish traps, this is it! We highly recommend taking a tour of this unique and historical ship.
On 26 May 1933 Coast Guard lighthouse tender USCGC Lilac (WAGL-227) was launched at Pusey & Jones Shipyard in Wilmington, DE, sponsored by Kristie Putnam
Lilac Preservation Project, New York, NY
https://museumships.us/coast-guard/lilac
This grass shrimp was one of several caught during last weekend’s ecological monitoring efforts aboard Lilac Preservation Project steamship in Hudson River Park
The grass shrimp’s long, curious antennae are well suited to the dark and murky river bottom where it spends much of its time.
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.
We have great news for the Spring field trip season! As we merge with Hudson River Park, we are able to offer new field trip experiences at several sites throughout the Park. In addition to hands-on programs at the Wetlab and Lilac Preservation Project, students can participate in programs on local climate change at Pier 84, explore the Pier 63 Habitat Garden, and more! Visit explorableplaces.com/places/hudson-river-park to browse program options and schedule a trip! This year, select programs will begin in March, so check it out today!
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