Wanna Buy a Lighthouse?
The U. S. Coast Guard has made this year's expendable lighthouse list available to the general public. In accordance with the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, a number of lighthouses will be deemed "expendable" each year and will be made available to municipalities and nonprofit organizations which apply for a particular lighthouse and can meet a number of requirements, (such as filing a financial plan for restoration and maintainance of the lighthouse, a plan for public viewing within a "reasonable" amount of time, proof of ability to secure insurance for the lighthouse, allowing the Coast Guard access to the working light, and much more). The entire process and requirements can be read by clicking on the above link.
This year's 13 available lighthouses are;
Penfield Reef ~~Located on Long Island Sound approximately 1 mile off the coast of Fairfield. This 35 foot tall lighthouse, constructed of wood and granite, was built in 1874 at a cost of $55,000 and lies upon a small "island" of rocks, (actually a cylindrical granite pier). It is said to be haunted by a former keeper who drowned nearby. The town of Fairfield seems to be quite interested in acquiring the lighthouse, but has not, as of yet, filed an application.
Saybrook Breakwater~~ Also located in Long Island Sound. It lies at the mouth of the Connecticut River in the town of Old Saybrook. Working in tandem with the Lynde Point Lighthouse, about a mile and a half away, it has been a working aid to navigation since 1886.
Bellevue Range Rear Tower~~ Marks the entrance to the Christiana River from the larger Delaware River, this 104 foot tall skeletal tower was built in 1909. Due to river dredging over the years, the lighthouse, originally built out in the Delaware River, now stands well within the Christiana River! **note to buyer, this lighthouse is within sight and smell of nearby Cherry Island trash landfill!**
Michigan City East Pierhead ~~ Indiana's last surviving lighthouse. Built in 1904, this lighthouse originally used the catwalk pictured at left for access to the lighthouse from the keeper's home on shore. Please note that only the lighthouse is available, the new owner has to get permission from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, owner of the pier and catwalk, for access to the lighthouse! The Municipality of Michigan City seems to be the early frontrunner to get this lighthouse.
Whaleback Ledge~~ This 50-foot tall granite lighthouse lies outside Kittery. Accessible only by boat, the perspective owner will have to have deep pockets, as the maintainance costs alone for this off-shore lighthouse can get very, very costly. As of yet, no party has shown any real interest.
Cleveland East Ledge~~Located near the western entrance to the Cape Cod Canal, this may be the most expensive restoration project of any of this year's crop. Built in 1943, this 70 foot tall concrete lighthouse has had many years of neglect. Among other issues, the new owner must remove an extensive amount of asbestos inside the lighthouse, as well as layers of lead paint. Other than that, it makes a great Cape Cod vacation home!
Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Inner~~Also known as the Duluth Rear Range Light. New owner of this 1901 built 68 foot tall skeletal tower will have to deal with the frequent raising and closing of the large lift bridge right in its own back yard. No word, as of yet, of interested parties.
Brandywine Shoal~~Another off-shore lighthouse. This 45-foot tall cast iron "spark plug" lighthouse was built in 1914. Unlike most off-shore caisson-based lighthouses, Brandywine is surrounded by its own little island of "rip-rap" stone protection. An easy jaunt to Philadelphia may be one of this lighthouse's best (or worse, depending on one's outlook of the City of Brotherly Love), selling points.
Execution Rocks~~In Long Island Sound off of New Rochelle, the name is derived from the Revolutionary War. Legend has it, American prisoners were chained to the rocks here by the British at low tide. The prisoners would drown slowly as the tide became higher. A story like that would make great party chatter for guests of the new owners, don't you think?
Old Orchard Shoal~~Who needs a Manhattan penthouse when you could own this beauty in Lower New York Bay, about three miles offshore from Staten Island. Built in 1893, this 35 foot tall "spark plug" is in close proximity to Great Kills Park, offshore of the Gateway National Recreation Area.
West Bank Light ~~At 70 feet, it's the tallest offshore lighthouse in New York Harbor. Great views are afforded from this lighthouse, to Staten Island's South Beach and the Coney Island boardwalk. Built in 1901, the light is solar powered, but the Coast Guard won't let the new owner use the panels. There is no other source of power, it will have to be input by the buyer.
Cleveland Harbor East Pierhead~~Originally built in 1880 for use in Rochester, New York, this lighthouse was relocated to the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland in 1911. Tower is 25 feet tall, and the new owner must be fond of walking, as the lighthouse sits at the end of a three mile long pier.
Conneaut Harbor West Breakwater~~ This 60 foot tall concrete building sits on a 23 foot tall concrete base at the very end of a long pier. Two groups are interested in acquiring this lighthouse. The first, a Jewish school which wants to educate special needs students there, and the second being an Army and Navy Union Garrison.