In Staten Island’s historic enclaves, contemporary visitors can experience the environs of nineteenth-century New York City in a way that is unusually complete and evocative. Among these enclaves is Lighthouse Point, the site of the U.S. Lighthouse Service Depot from the 1860s to the 1960s. Like Sailors Snug Harbor and Richmond Town, Lighthouse Point sits on comparatively undeveloped land and, populated by several historic structures, conjures a time when buildings in New York City could still be said to occupy a landscape.
The architectural challenge posed by planning Light House Point is to preserve the character of its nineteenth-century buildings within a contemporary development of contrasting scale, detail, and material. The proposed development does this by reusing the historic structures and integrating them into a site plan organized around public, open space. The historic buildings form one of four primary architectural elements of the development. The three new elements are a retail building, a residential development, and a hotel.
The design solution creates an exuberant mixed-use development that connects tourists and Staten Island residents to the waterfront while tying together the Ferry, shoreline, harbor, and Staten Island’s municipal center in a coherent and exceptional public place.