Latimer Signs Legislation to Fund Tarrytown Lighthouse Restoration
By Barrett Seaman—
Ten years ago, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino looked at cost estimates of more than a million dollars to restore the iconic Tarrytown lighthouse and saw a number that was just too big. This past year, when his successor, George Latimer, looked at a county legislative proposal to spend $3.3 million for the same job, he saw a good deal.
“This long overdue work will breathe new life into an iconic Westchester landmark,” he said in advance of signing the legislation, adding at Wednesday’s signing ceremony that the difference stems from “not understanding the difference between the cost of something and the value of something. We understand the value of this lighthouse.”
The money will go towards stabilizing the structure, originally built in 1883, repairing and repainting, the replacement of windows and doors, repairing foundational cracks in the cellar and caisson area, restoration of the plaster and flooring and reconstruction of the intermediate landing between the bridge and the metal gangway, as well as a new security gate and lighting.
“For many years,” added County Legislature Majority Leader Mary Jane Shimsky, “members of the board of legislators very much wanted this lighthouse to be fixed… Once the new [Edge-on-Hudson) project is complete, and once we have paths leading down here, this lighthouse is not going to be just a tourist destination for people to come from other places. It’s also going to be a great amenity for the people who live in Sleepy Hollow.”
Village Mayor Ken Wray, wearing his iconic white straw hat in the 90-degree weather, praised Latimer as “an extraordinary partner to the village.” In an allusion to the previous administration in White Plains, he added, “Your support for all of us has been like rainfall after years of drought and neglect.”
Present with Wray at the signing ceremony was Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio, Chamber of Commerce President Laura Rey and the Chamber’s executive assistant, Stephanie Rodnick, along with Edge-on-Hudson representatives Craig Tompkins, vice president for land development, and publicist Burns Patterson.
Along with Latimer, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins and Shimsky were County Parks Commissioner Kathleen O’Connor and her first deputy, Peter Tartaglia.
The lighthouse restoration, much like the surrounding Edge-on-Hudson project, will take another two-to-three years to complete. “I look forward,” said Mayor Wray, “to some important ribbon-cutting events here in the future.”