Monday, October 22, 2018

Eisenhower Park

At 930 acres, Eisenhower Park is one of the largest public spaces in the New York metropolitan area – larger, in fact, than Central Park. The park offers a full range of athletic and family activities, including one of the finest swimming facilities in the U.S., a major golf facility, dozens of athletic fields and courts, picnic areas, summertime entertainment, playgrounds, fitness trails and more.

Eisenhower Park consists of the former property owned by the exclusive Salisbury Country Club as well as adjoining properties acquired by the county. Prior to being The Nassau County Park at Salisbury, the golf courses were part of the Salisbury Golf Club, first developed in 1917 by Joseph J. Lannin, owner of the Garden City Hotel, Roosevelt Airfield, and the Boston Red Sox. Lannin died mysteriously in 1928, but his daughter Dorothy’s residence and carriage house (The Lannin House) still stand on Eisenhower Park’s property. Lannin moved the Salisbury Links to this site after his old course was made private. Golf architect Devereux Emmet designed the red course for the new club. Golfer Walter Hagen won the 1926 PGA Championship on it, making the course world famous.

During the Depression, the owners were unable to pay taxes and the property was taken over by the county. Subsequently, the county acquired additional land in the area. In 1944, Nassau County Park at Salisbury was established as part of County. Executive J. Russell Sprague's vision to create a park that "one day will be to Nassau County what Central Park is today to New York City." The park was officially dedicated in October of 1949.

The park was rededicated on October 13, 1969, as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Park at a ceremony attended by the 34th President's grandson, Dwight D. Eisenhower II, and his wife, Julie Nixon Eisenhower. Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano dedicated a statue of Dwight D. Eisenhower in a ceremony at Eisenhower Park on Sunday, October 13th, 2013.

Here’s a list of some of the things found in the park:

16 lighted tennis courts

Twin Rinks Ice Center consists of two indoor, NHL-sized skating rinks, as well as one outdoor rink.
Athletic fields include 17 baseball fields (14 for softball and three for hardball), four soccer fields and three football fields.

There is one full-court basketball court.

In the summer of 2007, the park introduced a two-mile Fitness Trail that provides a jogging or walking trail and 20 attractive and simple fitness stations that incorporate a variety of exercises. These include stretching, pull-ups, sit-ups and balance walking exercises that increase slightly in difficulty as the trail proceeds.

Eisenhower features three excellent 18-hole golf courses open to the public: the Red, White and Blue courses. The Red course, which hosted the Commerce Bank (PGA) Championship, has been called by Newsday one of the "Top 10" public golf courses on Long Island. In addition, the park has an illuminated driving range.

An 18-hole Miniature Golf Course is a popular attraction for children and families. The course, which has been named "Best of Long Island" by News 12 Long Island, features two 18-hole courses with terraced landscaping that incorporates a waterfall, small ponds, flower beds and a number of challenging holes.

There is a Batting Cage with nine separate batting areas offering varying pitching speeds for baseball or a softball option.

There are three playground areas with a range of activities for children.

Built in 1998 for the Goodwill Games, the Nassau County Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park is one of the finest swimming facilities in the U.S. It regularly hosts major swimming competitions and is also open to the public. The Center includes a “stretch” 50-meter pool that is 68 meters long, with three movable bulkheads. There is also a 25-meter diving well with competition diving towers, platforms, and springboards. In addition, there is a beautifully renovated fitness center, located above the pool.

The Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre is an outdoor theater that hosts a full schedule of entertainment events during the summer, from concerts to movies.

The large and beautiful Veterans Memorial and Wall of Honor commemorates the contributions of the nation’s veterans in various branches of service.

On September 9, 2007, the County unveiled the 9/11 Memorial honoring the 344 Nassau County residents who lost their lives during the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. The monument, one of the largest completed memorials to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, is located by Eisenhower Park Lake, near Lakeside Theatre. The monument includes two stainless-steel towers set in a fountain as well as two steel girders recovered from the World Trade Center; plaques memorialize the names of County residents who lost their lives.

There are two memorials to Nassau County firefighters who have died in the line of duty, including one dedicated to those county firefighters who lost their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In the gaming area next to the playground, there is a bocci court and tables with inlaid chess and checker boards.

Eisenhower is home to Carltun on the Park restaurant, a privately run facility operated in a former country club. The Carltun offers a restaurant, bar, banquet facilities and a meeting room.

“Eisenhower Park | Nassau County, NY - Official Website.” Nassau County, Long Island New York,

“History of Eisenhower Park | Nassau County, NY - Official Website.” Nassau County, Long Island New York,

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Fire Island Lighthouse

Fire Island Lighthouse is an important aspect of Long Island history. The first Fire Island lighthouse was built and completed in 1826. The structure was only 74-feet high and octagonal pyramid shaped. The structure was cream-colored and made of Connecticut River blue split stone. Only being 74-feet high, the lighthouse was ineffective for its purpose of guiding transatlantic ships coming to the New York Harbor. Due to its ineffectiveness, this lighthouse was removed and the materials were reused to build a terrace on the new lighthouse. All that remains of the original lighthouse structure is a ring of bricks and stones.

With the need of a useful lighthouse for transatlantic ships, Congress appropriated $40,000 for a new structure in 1857. This new structure would be over double the height of the original, at 168 feet tall. After its completion, it was officially in use and lit on November 1, 1858. This new tower was made of red bricks which were painted a creamy yellow color and eventually again in August of 1891, it was repainted to alternating black and white bands which still remains its colors.

The lens that was fitted to the tower was called the First Order Fresnel Lens which released a white flash once a minute. The Lens was connected to a Funk Lamp with 5 concentric wicks which caused the illumination inside the lens. Since the lens was fitted to the tower, various different fuels were used with whale oil, lard oil mineral oil and kerosene being the most commonly used. Electricity was not reached to the tower until September 20 of 1938, and ironically the next day a hurricane struck cutting out the electricity, making the lighthouse’s electrification process delayed.

The lighthouse was decommissioned as an aid for transatlantic ships on December 31 of 1973, but the structure was left remaining and use of the light house and its tract, which spans approximately 82 acres, was temporarily given to the National Park Service for five years. Eventually, the tract was declared by law to be within the boundaries of the Fire Island National Seashore in 1979.
The year 1982 marked the creation of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society which successfully raised over 1.3 million dollars. The money raised was to restore and preserve the lighthouse.

Two years later, in 1984, the Fire Island Lighthouse was marked as a historic site and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The restoration and preservation team decided to restore the lighthouse to its condition at the time of electrification, which was in 1939 due to delay from the hurricane.

The restoration was eventually completed and on Memorial Day of 1986, the lighthouse was relit and was reestablished as an official aid to navigation for boaters.

December of 1996, the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society was able to gain control over maintenance and operation of the Lighthouse and the Keeper’s Quarters. These aspects of control were through an agreement with the National Park Services, but did not give the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society ownership of the historic site.

The lighthouse is currently lit by two 1000-watt bulbs. These rotate in a counter-clockwise direction which gives the appearance of flashing lights every 7.5 seconds. The light from the lighthouse is visible for approximately 21-24 miles.