Amagansett Life-Saving Station Closes In On Completing Renovations

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One of Amagansett’s historical landmarks is getting closer to being fully restored.

Funds are still being raised to bring the Amagansett Life-Saving Station back to its original 1902 appearance, and the work is expected to be completed by early fall.

According to David Lys, chairman of the Life-Saving Station committee, $1.5 million has been raised since the start of the historical structure report in 2011, which involved gathering documentary, graphic and physical information on the station’s history.

“I heard about the station while working in Amagansett, but wasn’t sure about working there right off the bat,” Mr. Lys said. “Then I went to the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station in Rodanthe, North Carolina and was in awe of the American history it had. So I thought, ‘Why can’t we do that here in Amagansett?’”

Originally decommissioned in 1944, the Amagansett Lifesaving Station was bought by historian Joel Carmichael in 1966 for a mere $1 and moved onto the bluff above Atlantic Avenue. The Carmichael family lived in the building until Mr. Carmichael died in 2006. The following year, the Carmichael family gave the building back to the town and it was then returned to its original location in front of the entrance to Atlantic Avenue Beach. Joel Carmichael’s daughter, Isabel, works at the East Hampton Historical Society as the assistant to executive director Richard Barons.

“I think it’s pretty exciting,” Ms. Carmichael said. “It’s been a real community project and I think that’s great. That’s one of the main reasons why we gave it back to the town because it was really the only way to ensure its survival.

The committee has been hosting events to raise money for the renovations. This Saturday, they will hold their annual Lobster Bake at the Station from 6 to 8 p.m. They also hosted last year’s Red Devil swim benefit and their fifth annual re-enactment of the beach landing of Nazi saboteurs on June 13, 1942.

Mr. Lys said the committee is hoping for an additional $175,000 for educational and architectural components. He added that they would like to be able to offer classes on the history of the station and make the station look as authentic as possible.

“It’s wonderful to see how the community has backed us on this project. It’s the sign that they recognize an important project for the town.”

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