CROWN POINT The Champlain Lighthouse and the Crown Point Pier will be closed to the public while work is under way to restore and rehabilitate the facilities in time for next years Lake Champlain/Hudson River Quadricentennial Celebration. The lighthouse and pier reflect and celebrate the long and storied history of Lake Champlain and the people who lived and worked on its waters and along its shores, said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation DEC Region 5 Director Elizabeth M. Lowe. We apologize for the inconvenience, but are confident people will be very pleased when these facilities are restored to their previous grandeur and functionality. The facilities are located on the shore of Lake Champlain in Essex County on the DEC Crown Point Public Campground. Other nearby by historic features are the Crown Point Reservation, which includes Fort Crown Point and Fort St. Frederic, the Crown Point Bridge and the Toll Keepers House. The historic preservation work on these structures is part of preparation for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the French explorer Samuel de Champlains 1609 sighting of the lake that now bears his name. Champlain is noted as the first European to have recorded his exploration of the lake and the surrounding region. Work on the lighthouse began last year and includes restoration of the Rodin sculpture and relighting of the lighthouse light. Work on the pier had begun last year, but little progress was made. Now work has begun again with a full and aggressive work schedule. Work on the pier will include bulkhead reinforcement and removal of zebra mussels from the part of structure below water. DEC will also be improving drainage and stabilizing the shoreline in the area. When completed the pier will be used for boater and angler access, including persons with disabilities. Visitors will not have access to the pier or lighthouse during construction to insure public safety and timely completion of this work. Construction is expected to be completed, and the facilities reopened to the public, in spring 2009. The Champlain Memorial Lighthouse was originally constructed in 1858 and the surrounding land was acquired in 1910 by the New York State Conservation Department, predecessor to the DEC. In 1912, the states of New York and Vermont and the Province of Quebec worked together to reconstruct the lighthouse as a monument to Samuel de Champlain, in recognition of the 300th anniversary of his explorations.