The U.S. Life-Saving and Coast Guard Station in Amagansett is now listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and has also been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
The station’s history dates back to 1902; the station was one of 30 on the South Shore. It operated with a crew comprised mostly of local fishermen until 1937.
Situated on Atlantic Avenue, the station’s crew was originally charged with the rescue of shipwrecked seamen. During the war, the crew was also responsible for ensuring the security of the beach. Its crew is credited with uncovering explosives buried on Atlantic Beach by Nazi agents during World War II. In the wake of the discovery, the Coast Guard Beach Patrol was formed, growing into an organization of 24,000. The Coast Guard now provided coastal security and defense of the mainland.
The Coast Guard Station is deeply rooted in East Hampton Town’s maritime history. The town is dedicated to the preservation of the station, not just for historical reasons, but to also honor those who served at the station from 1902 to 1944. After the station was decommissioned, it remained closed until the town decided that it would remove the building from its original location.
In 1966, Joel Carmichael purchased the building from the town for $1. He moved the station from its location and made it his residence until his death in 2006. The Carmichael family returned the station house to the town in 2007 and it was then returned to its original location.
The Amagansett Life-Saving and Coast Guard Society, Inc. sought to restore and preserve the historic structure and raised the money necessary to order a historic structure report for the station. The report was completed in 2011 and outlined the work required to return the station to its 1902 glory. It took six years for the restoration process to be completed and in May 2017, the station opened as a museum to the public.
According to Assemblyman Fred Thiele, when a building is listed on the New York State Register or the National Register, it qualifies the building for various public preservation programs and services, including state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits and matching state grants. There are currently more than 120,000 historic buildings, structures, and sites in New York listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information on National Register nominations, visit https://parks.ny.gov/shpo/national-register/nominations.aspx.