Satisfied smiles faded and hearts sank when Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials in Oregon learned that their pride and joy, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse they’d taken over from the Coast Guard in 1996, needed lots and lots of Tender Loving Care..
The 93-foot-tall 1873 lighthouse was discovered in 2000 to need about a million dollars worth of repairs. BLM funds became available in 2005 to begin a seven-month-long top-to-bottom exterior restoration.
Key to the project was nationally-acclaimed metalsmith/designer craftsman Alex Klahm, applauded for his work since 1989 at many lighthouses on the East and Gulf Coasts.
Alex recreated at his home factory, 3,200 miles away in St. Petersburg, Florida, and later installed — with two helpers — dozens of cast iron and bronze pieces to replace rusted railings, cornices, posts, and brackets at the top of the lighthouse tower. The BLM presented Alex with a certificate of excellence for the exceptional work.
Submitted by Society Member George Collins, October 19, 2017.
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