Jeffrey's Hook Light – New York, New York - Atlas Obscura

Jeffrey's Hook Light

Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. 


One of the last standing lighthouses in all of Manhattan, Jeffrey’s Hook Light is a small structure that sits almost directly under the George Washington Bridge on the New York side.

Originally built and located in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, in 1889, the lighthouse was placed on the Hudson River shoreline in 1921 to aid in navigation. When the George Washington Bridge was constructed ten years later, its grandiose size and bright lights overshadowed the lighthouse, making it worthless for the navigation of ships traveling the river. It managed to remain operational, though, until 1947.

When officials decided to demolish the defunct lighthouse in 1951, fans of a 1942 children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, rallied against its removal and won. The lighthouse, still standing and since named a New York City Landmark (and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979), is now owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which oversees infrequent tours of the interior.

For the adventurous, the lighthouse can be accessed by a very steep footpath leading down from the bridge. It can also be accessed by going down through the promenades of Riverside Park.

Know Before You Go

Subway: Take the train to 181st St. and walk west to Plaza Lafayette. Cross the footbridge and take a left down the path under the overpass. Cross over the railroad tracks and follow the path to the left (south). The lighthouse is almost directly under the George Washington Bridge.

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March 28, 2011

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