[EPISODE] A Staten Island Special
Join me this week as we visit four great historic places on Staten Island : Richmondtown, Snug Harbor, the National Lighthouse Museum and Fort Wadsworth.
My guests will be Rediscovering New York regular and our Special Consultant David Griffin of Landmark Branding, Linda Dianto, Executive Director of the National Lighthouse Museum, and Daphne Yun, Public Affairs Specialist at Fort Gateway National Recreation Area/Fort Wadsworth.
Jeff introduces the first guest of the show David Griffin, who gives the history of Richmond Town, the first settlement of Staten Island, starting with its founding as an area known for its oyster shells and being majorly agricultural to a more industrial area before fading away over time. The two go back to colonial times, discussing who would’ve settled there during those times and its place on Staten during the Revolutionary War. The talk gears towards the founding of the Staten Island Historical Society, Richmond Town’s preservation history and a few significant landmarks.
David talks about his role at Landmark Branding, the show continuing with David discussing the maritime-based history of Snug Harbor, its opening in the nineteenth century, and when the area started to fall out of relevance in the mid-twentieth century, the NYC Landmark Commission stepping in and saving the area from being teared down for housing. The talk transitions into the variety of institutions set up in the area including gardens, art exhibitions, and its many museums, David listing all types of these museums in the harbor ranging from maritime, science, and some even catering to children.The segment closes with Jeff listing David’s contact information.
Jeff introduces the second guest of the show Linda Dianto, she talks about her history living in Brooklyn and Staten Island, going into her history working in and out of historical societies before ending up at the National Lighthouse Museum, this leading to how she ended up working there. Linda talks about her passion for lighthouses, which she shares with her husband, which spawned after she decided to take on her current project. She talks on how New York came to house the museum, its history dating back to the nineteenth century, as she outlines when it was first established. Linda traverses into the broader subject of lighthouses themselves, specifying their purposes, and speaking on the history of them in the New York harbor. She talks about what guests should expect when they come to the museum, giving out information for the listener to where information can be found.
Jeff introduces the final guest of the show Daphne Yun, who talks on how she ended up working at New York City, taking a job at the Statue of Liberty after working in Washington D.C., and how she ended up at Fort Wadsworth. She talks the history of the area before it was preserved in the nineteenth century, the adage of fortifications through American history, how it came to be possessed by the federal government, the two going on a slight tangent into naval warfare and technology at the time, and the Fort’s transition into a military base before its decommissioning in the twentieth century. They talk of its history as a national park and being an extension of Fort Gateway and a happy accident that occured during Hurricane Sandy. The show closes with Daphne giving out information to the listeners about tours and the park.