“I was drawn to the Lilac because of its grittiness,” says photographer Tony Larsen about the ship docked on the north side of Pier 25. “It’s the opposite of a fancy yacht.” Indeed, the Lilac was built in 1933 as a lighthouse tender. “She is the oldest lighthouse tender in America and the only steam-powered tender to survive with her steam engines intact,” says the website for the Lilac Preservation Project. Thanks to Mary Habstritt, museum director and president, for showing Tony around. The ship is currently closed for the winter, but it will reopen in May. (Groups, however, may inquire about organized tours.)
About the photographer: Tony Larsen [left] is a freelance art director and photographer living in Battery Park City; you can often find him roaming New York City streets with a Canon strap across his chest. For proof, check out his blog at tonylarsen.blogspot.
Previous photo essays by Tony Larsen
• The Views from the Duane Street Hotel’s Roof