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

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.

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.

Back in the day, LILAC would have been out in the cold on the Delaware River and Bay, breaking ice to get to buoys and l...
02/12/2021
Video Available: Coast Guard continues ice breaking operations throughout Northeast

Back in the day, LILAC would have been out in the cold on the Delaware River and Bay, breaking ice to get to buoys and lighthouses as well as standing ready to assist vessels in trouble. The Coast Guard is still out there every day. Semper Paratus.

BOSTON — The Coast Guard is continuing ice breaking operations as colder temperatures and winter weather impact waterways throughout the Northeast.The ice breaking operations are in support of Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (OPRENEW), the Coast Guard’s region-wide effort to ensu...

01/29/2021

We are learning about a previously unknown episode in Lilac's history. In researching the career of Captain Charles L. Lewis (see update to our post of 10 January 2021), we found that Lilac was involved in interning crews from Italian ships leading up to our entry into WWII. The federal government issued orders to the Coast Guard on 29 March 1941 to seize all German and Italian vessels in U.S. ports. This was to prevent sabotage of the vessels. Lewis took into custody the officers and crew from three ships in the Port of Philadelphia and Lilac transported them to the Emigration Center in Gloucester City, NJ for trial in federal court.

The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military without its own national museum. For now, the museum is little more t...
01/17/2021
You Can Find These Surprising Artifacts at the Coast Guard's Museum

The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military without its own national museum. For now, the museum is little more than a room at the Coast Guard Academy. They do have some really cool stuff stowed there as these highlights reveal.

https://www.military.com/off-duty/you-can-find-these-surprising-artifacts-coast-guards-museum.html?ESRC=coastguard_210113.nl

The Coast Guard Museum opened its archives to Instagram, showing off some of it most interesting artifacts.

Chief Bosn's Mate Frank Burkhardt crossed the bar on January 5th at the age of 97. He served on LILAC from 1956 until he...
01/13/2021

Chief Bosn's Mate Frank Burkhardt crossed the bar on January 5th at the age of 97. He served on LILAC from 1956 until he retired from the Coast Guard in 1966. He lived most of his life in Gloucester City, NJ which was also LILAC's home base for most of her career. We are pleased to have digitized a collection of slides from his days on board where he is often seen in command of the buoy deck. He lives on here. Semper paratus.

https://www.mccannhealey.com/obituary/francis-burkhardt-jr

You can still see the shadows of the emblems of the U.S. Lighthouse Service that once graced LILAC's bow. The historic p...
01/10/2021

You can still see the shadows of the emblems of the U.S. Lighthouse Service that once graced LILAC's bow. The historic photo shows the bronze emblems in place and comes from descendants of the ship's first captain, Andrew J. Davidson.

01/04/2021

This great quote from Keepers of the Lights by Hans Christian Adamson has been added to our website: “They are the tough, the trained, the seldom defeated tender boys. And never in the history of the sea have smaller ships and fewer men been entrusted with bigger jobs or performed them with greater credit.”

Thanks Nonprofit New York! Love that photo of Raisa who was one of our Stuyvesant High School volunteers.
12/18/2020
Nonprofit New York

Thanks Nonprofit New York! Love that photo of Raisa who was one of our Stuyvesant High School volunteers.

Our December member feature is Lilac Preservation Project! Read our blog to learn more about how they are restoring a historic Coast Guard ship for educational and cultural purposes.

We recently learned that volunteer Jimmy Bacolo died in June, 2020. Although he was alone when he passed away due to COV...
12/18/2020

We recently learned that volunteer Jimmy Bacolo died in June, 2020. Although he was alone when he passed away due to COVID-19, he is in the thoughts of many of us here at LILAC. Captain Mary shared the following memory of Jimmy. It's got us thinking that he is probably cracking jokes with the angels in heaven.

Aug 26, 2012 : Jimmy the Rigger forgot his work clothes today. I offered him an old pair of cargo shorts I had on board. (They looked better on him.) He said it took him only two months to get into my pants! He often makes me laugh, but that remark had me absolutely helpless with laughter.

Thanks to Tribeca Trib for the excellent coverage.  As noted, we will be returning to Pier 25 on Monday, November 23rd. ...
11/21/2020
Historic Ship Lilac Shoves Off from Its Tribeca Home at Pier 25 | Tribeca Trib Online

Thanks to Tribeca Trib for the excellent coverage. As noted, we will be returning to Pier 25 on Monday, November 23rd. ETA 11:30 AM.
http://tribecatrib.com/content/historic-ship-lilac-shoves-its-tribeca-home-pier-25

Lilac is tugged away from Pier 25. Pushed by one tug, the former lighthouse tender is accompanied by a second. Both are needed to move the ship into its narrow, temporary berth in Staten Island. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Webb Institute students conducted an inclining experiment on Lilac. This will assist us in planning modifications for fu...
11/20/2020

Webb Institute students conducted an inclining experiment on Lilac. This will assist us in planning modifications for future passenger service. It was a fascinating all-day process.

LILAC is at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Co. Yesterday the propellers were freed from bo***ge and lifted off for storage....
11/18/2020

LILAC is at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Co. Yesterday the propellers were freed from bo***ge and lifted off for storage. Today, fuel tanks will be cleaned.

11/11/2020

Thank you to all our veterans, especially the fellows who kept LILAC afloat. We remember and salute you today and every day.

With the help of a friendly workboat crew, we recently put the removable bulwark back into place on the starboard side. ...
11/04/2020

With the help of a friendly workboat crew, we recently put the removable bulwark back into place on the starboard side. This makes the buoy deck safer for visitors and clears space on the deck.

We are working on moving our emergency diesel generator off the deck to the locker long used for a rectifier. We believe...
10/26/2020

We are working on moving our emergency diesel generator off the deck to the locker long used for a rectifier. We believe the old rectifier was added by the Coast Guard at Curtis Bay for use of Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO when the ship was decommissioned and transferred to the Harry Lundeberg School-Seamanshp. They used electric heat pumps for heating since the boilers were shut down and steam was not available for the radiators. The rectifier had a long life and has been replaced by a smaller modern one installed in the Engine Room. The generator itself is secondhand, found years ago on eBay. We hope to keep it going a while longer.

Rust never sleeps. This is a pile of it that we removed from on top of the water tank in the "lazarette." That is the be...
10/16/2020

Rust never sleeps. This is a pile of it that we removed from on top of the water tank in the "lazarette." That is the belowdecks space at the stern where the steering gear is. Our marine surveyor told us that was what to call it, but there is some disagreement over it. Anyone know what they called it back in the day?

You haven't heard from us in a while. We've been busy painting!
10/10/2020

You haven't heard from us in a while. We've been busy painting!

"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

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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

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' !!!