The effects of Mother Nature in the North East caused great strain on the structure which eventually had to be torn down and replaced. The second lighthouse, known as the Rondout I, was constructed of the locally quarried bluestone in 1867. This house was much more durable and better equipped to handle the changes in seasons and corresponding precipitation. Rondout I’s location became obsolete after the Army Corp. of Engineers extended the dikes farther into the River. The Rondout I was abandoned in 1915 for the third and final lighthouse. It was put of for auction but was never sold and ended up being demolished after the roof collapsed in 1954.
The Rondout lighthouse we enjoy today, Rondout II, was first lit on August 25th, 1915. Construction of the house began in 1913 by a company called the L.H.Bannon Plumbing, Heating & Contracting Co. The house was constructed of beige colored brick for a sum of $33,575.81. This lighthouse is the largest and most recent Hudson River Lighthouses built to house a family. The Rondout II existed as a family home until the Coast Guard took it over in 1946. That same year electricity was installed to run the navigational light, household lights and small appliances. In 1954 the light was fully automatic and functional; there was no longer a need for a live-in keeper. The last light keeper moved away and the house was boarded up that year.
The house remained vacant until 1984 when the Hudson River Maritime Museum entered into a lease with the Coast Guard to use the lighthouse for group tours. In November 2000, President Clinton signed a bill allowing lighthouse ownership to be transferred from the Coast Guard. On June 19th, 2002 possession of the Rondout Lighthouse was transferred to the City of Kingston with former Mayor James Sottile accepting the deed.
Today the lighthouse is maintained by the City of Kingston with the help of the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Due to the lack of an approved and available passenger vessel there are no scheduled public tours at this time. The lighthouse is visible from Kingston Point Park but is not accessible from land.
Hours: Tours available 9am - 2 pm weekdays
272 Wall Street
Kingston, NY 12401