Light Hearted

Light Hearted special edition: Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, NYC

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The Titanic Memorial Lighthouse stands today near the buildings of the South Street Seaport Museum, at the corner of Fulton and Pearl streets at the southern end of Manhattan. From 1913 to 1968, it was a familiar sight in its location atop the Seaman’s Church Institute, overlooking the East River. The cornerstone for the lighthouse was laid on April 16, 1912, one day after the news of the sinking of the Titanic reached New York. Many prominent New Yorkers were among the 1496 lives lost in the disaster.

The cylindrical white lighthouse was 60 feet tall. It displayed a fixed green light that was visible throughout New York Harbor and all the way through the Narrows to Sandy Hook, about a dozen miles to the south. Surmounting the tower was a time ball, to be hoisted five minutes before noon, Monday through Friday, and dropped at the precise moment a telegraphic signal signifying noon was received from Washington, D.C. Captains in the harbor set their ship’s chronometers by to the ball drop and citizens would set their timepieces to the drop of the ball at noon each day.

After the organization relocated in 1968, the building was demolished. The lighthouse was removed and donated to the South Street Seaport Museum. In May 1976, it was erected at its present location. There’s a new effort to restore the memorial lighthouse, which has fallen into disrepair. Click here for a GoFundMe page for this project.

The guests in this episode are Adrian Saker, who is spearheading the restoration effort, and also two descendants of Titanic passengers, Angelica Harris and Simon Medhurst.

Adrian Saker

Angelica Harris is the author of the book Titanic: The Brothers Peracchio, Two Boys and a Dream. The book is the story of her Italian uncles, Alberto and Sebastiano Peracchio. The brothers were stewards in the A’ la Carte Restaurant on board the Titanic.

Simon Medhurst’s great grandfather was Robert Hichens, the quartermaster of the Titanic who was at the ship’s helm on April 14, 1912.

Hichens survived the disaster in lifeboat 6. Simon’s mission is to keep the story alive and to promote all things Titanic.

Click here for the website for the effort to restore the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse

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