Introducing Nantucket Lightship

July 20, 2012 by Trevor Johnson

If you walk along the waterfront in downtown Boston, you can’t help but notice a bright red ship docked across the harbor with the word “Nantucket” boldly imprinted across its hull. This is the Nantucket Lightship LV-112, a floating lighthouse of sorts that served as a navigational aid to commercial and passenger ships traveling between the United States and Europe during the early to mid twentieth century. The LV-112 is a significant piece of our nation’s maritime heritage and an iconic vestige of a bygone era of transatlantic travel.

My name is Trevor Johnson, and I’m a program assistant in the Boston Field Office of the National Trust. I am also serving as interim project manager for our efforts to preserve the Nantucket Lightship. We are working in partnership with the United States Lightship Museum, which owns the vessel, to restore the LV-112 and establish it as a floating museum and education center centered in Boston. In particular, the National Trust is engaging in negotiations with city and federal agencies to identify and secure a long-term berth for the vessel that will provide easy public access and best promote the site as a public attraction. These talks are just beginning, but in the meantime, we are eagerly watching the Lightship Museum’s ongoing restoration work. Recently, the Lightship Museum finished its overhaul of the vessel’s exterior and is now turning its attention to the interior and mechanical systems.

Many dedicated and experienced individuals have been working for a long time to save the Nantucket Lightship LV-112. At present, there is a renewed sense of excitement and momentum that, if all goes according to plan, will carry us forward to the completion of the project. I’m grateful to be part of an effective team of preservationists committed to undertaking the hard work it will take to save this irreplaceable historic treasure.

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