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Celebrate the Lilac‘s 90th Birthday

The historic US Lighthouse Tender/US Coast Guard Cutter Lilac returns to Pier 25 in a few days to launch her 90th year of service. We are grateful to Miller’s Launch for donating the tow.

Thanks to the volunteers who have worked diligently all winter to make Lilac shine for her 90th birthday. They have put in hundreds of hours welding, jackhammering, supervising shipyard workers, rigging, wiring, plumbing, and more.

At the shipyard, shining bronze replicas of the U.S. Lighthouse Service emblems were mounted on Lilac’s bow. The originals were removed by the Coast Guard in 1939 but preserved by the captain. We are grateful to the grandchildren of Captain Charles Lewis who gave us the original lighthouses, which will be displayed indoors as part of new exhibits. And, we should recognize Bedi Makky Art Foundry for their good work casting the replicas.

Lilac’s fresh paint includes her Coast Guard call number W227 on the bow, thanks to the paint crew at Caddell’s Dry Dock & Repair who drew it out by hand using historic photos. This number appeared on her hull for most of her Coast Guard career, from World War II until the 1960s when the new Coast Guard stripe came into use. The lighthouses and the call number would never have been together on her bow at the same time, but we are proud to acknowledge both services that have been responsible for tending America’s aids to navigation system.

After your visit, check out more that Pier 25 has to offer. Play a round of 18 on our Mini Golf course or walk over to Pier 26 and enjoy kayaking on the Hudson. You can also grab something quick to eat at Sweet Love Snack Bar or sit down for a meal along the River at Grand Banks.