Travel with Justin on the Staten Island Ferry for several remarkable experiences. Immediately upon arrival in Staten Island, we’ll travel by city bus for about ten minutes to our first destination: Snug Harbor. Originally known as Sailors' Snug Harbor, this impressive complex consists of a collection of architecturally significant 19th century buildings set in an 83-acre park along the Kill Van Kull waterfront on the north shore of Staten Island. Built as a home for aged sailors, Snug Harbor was the remarkable bequest of Captain Robert Richard Randall, whose statue by Augustus St. Gaudens (with a base by Stanford White) can still be viewed on the campus today. Randall left his country estate in Manhattan, bounded by Fifth Avenue, Broadway, 10th Street, and the southern side of 8th Street adjacent to what is now Washington Square, to fund an institution to care for "aged, decrepit, and worn-out sailors." The lawyer responsible for drawing up the will was none other than Alexander Hamilton (whose home we’ll view on the Harlem tour). The charity set up by Randall and Hamilton was one of the first charitable institutions in the United States. Today, the buildings and grounds of the former Sailors’ Snug Harbor are used by arts organizations under the umbrella of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.

Amazingly, Snug Harbor includes an impressive array of 26 Greek Revival, Beaux Arts, Italianate, and Victorian buildings. The site is considered Staten Island's "crown jewel" and "an incomparable remnant of New York's 19th century seafaring past." Snug Harbor is a National Historic Landmark District.

While at Snug Harbor, Justin will lead a private tour of the Chinese Scholar’s Garden – an authentic Chinese garden designed in the ancient traditional style – with walls, rooms, bridges, reflecting pools, moon gates, waterfalls, and contemplative plaques with poems in Chinese. The building materials were all imported from China and the garden was constructed by a team of forty Chinese artists and artisans who came here from Suzhou in China – where these gardens can traditionally be found.
We’ll lunch on the grounds of Snug Harbor and then return by city bus to the Staten Island Ferry. Adjacent to the ferry terminal is the National Lighthouse Museum, where we will take a private tour of the collections and the site. The site was specifically selected for the National Lighthouse Museum because of its historic significance. The museum building was once the home of the United States Lighthouse Service Depot, which was established at this location on the New York Harbor in 1864.

The romance and isolation of lighthouses and their life-or-death role for tempest-tossed sailors is examined and illuminated at The National Lighthouse Museum. The museum recently opened on August 7, 2015, which was also the 226th Anniversary of the 1789 Congressional Lighthouse Act. This act, in the early years of this nation, was conceived to commission lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers throughout the United States. The Founding Fathers did not take action solely for humanitarian purposes.

“Lighthouses built the economy of this world,” said Linda Dianto, the museum’s executive director. “If you couldn’t sail safely into the harbors, you couldn’t bring merchandise or do business.” Once vital and now mostly outmoded owing to global positioning technology (GPS), lighthouses are being snuffed out, washed away, or turned into tourism destinations. The airy, brick-lined museum calls attention to their historic magnitude, feats of engineering, and the inventors who perfected illuminants and optics.

We’ll take a private tour of this new museum and the site to discover more about the role of lighthouses in New York and in national history. Then, we will travel back to Manhattan by way of the Staten Island Ferry.

Bring Metro-Card (We’ll use the S-40 Bus in Staten Island) + lunch and a beverage

Tour fee includes all admissions.
Please download, print and mail in your registration form along with payment.
» Download Registration Form
» Download the full Wolfe Walkers brochure including the Registration Form
Date: Saturday October 31, 2015
Time: 9:45 AM  to approximately 3:30 PM
Cost: $ 38 in advance (Includes Tour plus all admissions) $ 43 on-site (By check to Johanna Sterbin)
Meet: UPSTAIRS in the Waiting Room of the Staten Island Ferry at 9:45 AM: The Ferry departs at 10:00 AM, so please be prompt! There are clean restrooms available just off the Waiting Room.

Train: 1 to South Ferry || 4/5 to Bowling Green || R to Whitehall || J to Broad Street
The Staten Island Ferry is at the very southern tip of Manhattan. Look for the large glass building with the immense Staten Island Ferry sign.
Tours operate rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. For more information or to confirm meeting locations please call (212) 223-2777. Please note that tours sometimes run late. While tours are rarely cancelled you can call the number above to confirm, or join our mailing list to keep informed of cancellations due to extreme weather conditions.
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City |
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City    |    (212) 223-2777    |    
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