[R: today; L: 1939; Photos: Christine Bellini (R) and Time Inc (L) via Hamptons.com]
The Montauk Lighthouse has endured decades of debate over what to do about a serious erosion problem on the tip of Long Island, which is threatening to send the Hamptons landmark into the Atlantic. The Town of East Hampton is now taking responsibility for building the abutment which will support the crumbling sand and rocks that hold up the structure. Though the money and building plans have been in place for some time, 'a state law passed in the 1940s restrains the state from allocating the necessary funding to the property's current deed holder, the Montauk Historical Society'. How's that for bureaucratic red-tape. While the lighthouse has teetered on the edge of the island all these years, it appears no one had though to transfer ownership to the town until now. Though they haven't actually voted on it yet, the local government plans to take over the strip of land below the lighthouse and build a support that should hold up the end of Montauk for awhile. Fun/disturbing fact: the lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington in 1796 and stood a respectable 300 feet from the tip of Long Island. Today, it stands technically less than 50 feet from a watery demise.
· McGintee Suggests Board's Only Option Is To Assume Ownership Of Montauk Point Revetment [Hamptons Online]