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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. DHS to Stabilize its Historic Lighthouse on Plum Island

News Release: DHS to Stabilize its Historic Lighthouse on Plum Island

Release Date: October 24, 2022

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

PLUM ISLAND - The historic Plum Island Light Station is undergoing a project to stabilize its structure and prevent further deterioration. The project, led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), will refurbish the lighthouse’s cast iron tower and associated components, as well as the roof of the lighthouse keep’s quarters to reflect its historical significance and confirm that both components are structurally sound. S&T is working closely with the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to confirm proper selection of materials in the stabilization project to maintain historic character and authenticity in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Constructed in 1869 and put into service in 1870, the Plum Island Light Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in February 2011. The lighthouse property also includes a brick oil house that was built around 1900 and a wood-framed storage shed that was constructed around 1920—all of which are located on a three-acre parcel on the northwestern tip of Plum Island. Various assessments over the past decade have indicated degradation in the structure and the need for significant repairs.

“The Plum Island Lighthouse holds incredible historical and cultural significance from a local and national perspective,” said Dr. Tod Companion, acting director of S&T’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC). “We are looking forward to confirming its stability as part of the island’s closure.” The project is expected to be completed by March 2024.

Plum Island, New York, is located approximately 1.5 miles from the eastern end of Long Island’s North Fork. The island is wholly owned by the DHS and primarily serves as a secure and appropriate location for PIADC, DHS’s unique research facility whose mission includes the development of vaccines, diagnostic testing, and applied research to control and eradicate transboundary foreign animal diseases. The island is also home to several legacy properties of historical significance, such as Fort Terry—a former United States Army fortification—and the Plum Island Light Station, neither of which are in service nor support PIADC’s science mission. 

DHS has selected ASRC Federal Field Services as the operations and maintenance contractor to perform the stabilization work. The estimated cost of the project is $1.82 million, which includes both onsite labor and support, as well as specialty subcontractors.


Last Updated: 10/24/2022
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