In 1967 Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller established the Hudson River Valley Commission to explore possible uses for the Hudson River Lighthouses. The Commission recommended that the Coast Guard deed over or lease the facilities to public or private not-for-profit groups. These groups would then rehabilitate, maintain and operate the facilities for public benefit.
It wasn't until 1982 that a local group would seriously attempt to follow through with the recommendations of the Hudson River Valley Commission. At that time a group of citizens from Columbia and Greene Counties formed the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society.
A landmark lease was signed on February 15, 1984. The 20 year lease was between the Lighthouse Society and the U.S. Coast Guard. It was the first lease signed with a government agency and a private group for a Hudson River Lighthouse. The Lighthouse Title was transferred as part of the Congressional Appropriations Act of 1999. The U.S. Coast Guard officially transferred the deed to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse as of July 3, 2000 making the members of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society its sole owner.
The Hudson-Athens Lighthouse is a Second Empire architectural style lighthouse located in the Hudson River between Hudson and Athens, New York.
The Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society or H.A.L.P.S. is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization established to maintain, preserve and restore our beloved lighthouse and consists of members from Greene and Columbia counties, mainly. This organization was established to provide a way for individuals to become actively involved in the museum development and the preservation of the historic Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. As stated, the society is responsible for the restoration, preservation and operation of the lighthouse but the lighthouse beacon remains the responsibility of the U.S. Coast Guard.