Monday, August 10, 2009

Staten Island Range Light, NY

Also known as the Ambrose Channel Range Light, the Staten Island Lighthouse serves as the rear range light companion to the West Bank Lighthouse. The 90-foot tower is located on Staten Island’s Richmond Hill at a point that is 141 feet above sea level and over five miles northwest of the West Bank Lighthouse.

The tower’s original beacon was powered by a kerosene lamp that only shone with 1,500 candlepower, but that was multiplied 250 times by a large glass prism reflector that surrounded a central bull’s-eye lens. The white light shone in a narrow beam that could be seen “on range” only for a distance of 21 miles. In 1939, that was replaced by a second-order Fresnel range lens, powered by electricity.

The octagonal tower is built of bricks with a gray limestone base and trim. A spiral staircase having 104 steps leads up the inside of the tower, which is lined with beautiful red brick, to the lantern room. The keeper’s dwelling, located 150 feet east of the lighthouse, was constructed using the same cream-colored bricks and a similar design. The spacious dwelling has three bedrooms, a living room, a parlor, a kitchen, a pantry, and a large attic. An electric bell in the dwelling was connected to the watchroom in the tower to facilitate communication between the two structures.

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