Fixer-Uppers With Waterfront Views: The U.S. Is Unloading Lighthouses


Searching for a spot with waterfront views? The federal government might need a deal for you.

The Common Providers Administration stated on Friday that it was making a gift of six lighthouses to nonprofits or authorities companies that promise to keep up them, and deliberate to promote 4 others to the general public at public sale.

The lighthouses are on a few of the most picturesque waters in New England and the Midwest. However aspiring lightkeepers needs to be ready to do some restore work earlier than dwelling out their Nineteenth-century maritime fantasies.

Lots of the majestic beacons, which have been as soon as important to defending sailors from reefs and rocky coastlines, have fallen into neglect and disrepair as navigational know-how has superior into the GPS age.

Some could solely be accessible by boat, just like the Stratford Shoal Light, perched on a submerged reef in the midst of Lengthy Island Sound, halfway between the New York and Connecticut coasts, and the 51-foot-tall octagonal Penfield Reef Lighthouse off Fairfield, Conn., which features a two-story home with keeper’s quarters.

Additionally obtainable at public sale are the 68-foot-tall Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light, in Chassell, Mich., which opened in 1919 and marks the southern finish of the Portage River, and the Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Light on the entrance to Cleveland Harbor, with a view of that metropolis’s skyline.

“They’re such uncommon reflections of our historical past that it takes a sure form of one that desires to be part of that,” Robin Carnahan, administrator of the G.S.A., stated in an interview on Friday.

Along with the 4 lighthouses slated for public sale, six lighthouses have been offered at no cost to native, state, and federal companies, nonprofits, instructional teams and group growth organizations which have the cash to keep up them, and that promise to make them obtainable to the general public at “affordable instances and underneath affordable circumstances,” the G.S.A. said.

They’re: the Lynde Level Lighthouse in Previous Saybrook, Conn., the Nobska Lighthouse in Woods Gap, Mass., the Plymouth (Gurnet) Lighthouse in Plymouth, Mass., the Warwick Neck Gentle in Warwick, R.I., the Little Mark Island and Monument in Harpswell, Maine, and the Erie Harbor North Pier Lighthouse in Erie, Pa. The preliminary providing section for the Erie lighthouse just lately closed, the G.S.A. stated.

Since Congress handed a regulation authorizing the federal government to switch possession of lighthouses in 2000, greater than 150 have been conveyed to new house owners, together with 81 which were handed over to state, native and nonprofit companies and about 70 which were offered at auctions.

Costs at auctions have ranged from $10,000 to $933,888, in accordance with the G.S.A.

Sheila Consaul, a communications guide in Washington, D.C., purchased the Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, for about $71,000 at a G.S.A. public sale in 2011, and transformed it right into a summer season residence.

Ms. Consaul’s red-and-white lighthouse, which was constructed on Lake Erie in 1925, remains to be a working navigational assist, with a solar-powered beacon maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard and a climate station maintained by the Nationwide Climate Service, she stated.

“I believe my favourite half is having saved such an icon,” Ms. Consaul stated. “It’s obtained all of the issues that a gorgeous summer season home on the water would have, however it’s so sentimental to so many individuals in these little cities the place they’re.”

She warned potential bidders, nevertheless, to contemplate that many lighthouses lack primary utilities and have been inbuilt distant places that aren’t simply accessible to contractors. She stated it had taken her 9 years to put in operating water in her lighthouse.

Nonetheless, that “very lengthy journey” has been value it, Ms. Consaul stated. She stated she loves inviting individuals from the group to see inside, watching the sundown and gazing at stars.

“There are some amazingly unimaginable views, in addition to historical past and intrigue,” she stated. “All of these issues individuals take into consideration lighthouses are true.”


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