Funding Sources · News · Preservation

Grants for Lighthouse Preservation Now Available

The 2017 cycle for the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Lighthouse Preservation Grants Program has begun. Letters of Intent must be received by March 24, 2017. Potential projects can relate to either preservation execution (i.e., “capital” or “bricks and mortar” projects) or preservation planning (i.e., “non-capital” projects); for example, research at National Archives, designs, drawings, assessments, surveys, etc. Grants up to $10,000 are available.

 

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In 2016 a $9,000 grant was awarded to the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse Trust in Maine to support replacing the lantern vent ball on the breakwater lighthouse and repairing damage in the lantern caused by water intrusion. 2009 photo by Chad Kaiser.

After an initial review by the Grants Committee, applicants will be informed by May 7, 2017, of their acceptance and will be asked to provide a full application by June 19, 2017. For more information on program guidelines and selection criteria see https://uslhs.org/about/preservation-grants-program-gidelines.

In 2016 a total of $35,000 in grants was awarded through this program, drawing on the interest from a still-growing investment fund that the U.S. Lighthouse Society has committed to increase through the years so that more and larger preservation grants can be made.

If you are interested in supporting this effort, please download our brochure.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, U.S. Lighthouse Society Historian, February 24, 2017

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

News · Preservation · Queries

Survey for Owners of Lighthouses Conveyed Under the NHLPA

Tybee Island Light Station, Georgia, was transferred to the Tybee Island Historical Society as part of the pilot program in 2002. Photo by Candace Clifford, 2009
Tybee Island Light Station, Georgia, was transferred to the Tybee Island Historical Society as part of the NHLPA’s pilot program in 2002. Photo by Candace Clifford, 2009

The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 (NHLPA) amends the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and allows federal agencies, local/state governments, and nonprofit organizations to apply for lighthouses deemed excess by the federal government. If no suitable applicant is found through a stewardship transfer, the lighthouse goes to auction and is given to the highest bidder where a private individual or organization assumes responsibility of the lighthouse. Since the lighthouses are still active aids to navigation, the U.S. Coast Guard still maintains the light. With the automation of the lights in the twentieth century, it was necessary for new lighthouse keepers to maintain the buildings associated with historic light stations. Legislation, such as the Maine Lights Program and the NHLPA, was put into place to find potential stewards. This program is a joint effort between the U.S. Coast Guard, General Services Administration, and the National Park Service to ensure the protection of historic light stations so future generations can enjoy these historic landmarks along America’s coastlines.

In order to learn more about the new lighthouse keepers, I am conducting a survey of owners of lighthouses that have been conveyed through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 in order to better understand the management process, renovations undertaken, and the challenges and rewards of ownership. I am also looking at the different types of lighthouses conveyed, what year they were constructed and architectural features. The responses and data submitted through this survey will be used in my thesis and will become a valuable tool in my study. The survey should take no more than fifteen minutes of your time.

Below is a link to my survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LighthouseOwners

Please only submit a survey if the lighthouse has been conveyed through the NHLPA.

If you have any questions, please contact me at jleeds@g.clemson.edu.

Submitted by Jennifer Leeds, MS Candidate in Historic Preservation, Clemson University/College of Charleston, on January 16, 2017

News · Preservation · Society Members

Graves Lighthouse Restoration

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Dave Waller installs refurbished skylight. Photo courtesy Dave Waller

Two readers sent me the recent Boston Globe article on the preservation of The Graves Lighthouse, located nine miles offshore at the mouth of Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. The incredible restoration of this 113-foot tower is the vision of lifetime U.S. Lighthouse Society member Dave Waller, who purchased the property at public auction in 2013.

Installation of first-order lens panels into positions that will not interfere with the modern solar-powered optic. The panels are from various Chance Bros. lenses that were primarily used in Australia. Photo courtesy Dave Waller
Chance Bros. lens panels from various Australian lighthouses were installed into positions that will not interfere with the modern solar-powered optic. (Click on photo to see full story.) Photo courtesy Dave Waller

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains the modern optic as an active aid to navigation. The light’s original first-order lens manufactured by Barbier, Bernard and Turenne, Paris, is now part of the undisplayed collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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Mike Sylvester cleans and points the granite tower. Photo courtesy of Dave Waller

The 1905 tower is constructed of granite quarried from Cape Ann, Massachusetts. The interior is lined with brick.

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Newly made authentic oak windows and mahogany handrails along with modern 24-volt electric lights brighten up the stairwells. Photo courtesy Dave Waller
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Nelson Metal Fabricators install a replacement copper smokestack based on the original 1903 plans. Photo courtesy of Dave Waller

Dangerous ledges and the lack of a dock make this lighthouse inaccessible to the general public; however, an extensive website was created to keep the public informed of the project.

Photos submitted by Dave Waller, January 3, 2017

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

 

Lighthouses in Art · News · Preservation

The Last Lightkeepers

If you have not already viewed these wonderful videos on Facebook, I encourage you to take a look. Documentary-style filmmaker Robert Apse follows modern-day keepers in New England including Jeremy D’Entremont at Portsmouth Harbor, NH; Ford Reiche at Halfway Rock, ME; Paul St. Germain at Thacher Island, MA; and Bob Trapani at Owls Head, ME. These beautiful videos are showcased with other New England topics at Wandergroove.com.

The first video in the lighthouse keeper series is below. The others will automatically follow. To see the full playlist, click the upper left corner.

Many thanks to filmmaker Robert Aspe and Marmoset for documenting stories of lighthouse preservation.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, December 29, 2016

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

Funding Sources · News · Preservation

Supporting Lighthouse Preservation

The U.S. Lighthouse Society encourages its members to support the lighthouses in their community. If you aren’t committed to a specific lighthouse, please consider supporting the Society’s Preservation Grants Program.

In 2016 a total of $35,000 in grants was awarded through this program, drawing on the interest from a still-growing investment fund that the U.S. Lighthouse Society has committed to increase through the years so that more and larger preservation grants can be made.

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A $9,000 grant was awarded to the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse Trust in Maine to replace the lantern vent ball on the breakwater lighthouse and repair damage in the lantern caused by water intrusion. The entire project will cost $20,700.

On the Great Lakes, the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy will use a $9,000 grant to complete a $32,375 project to fabricate and install damaged or missing parts of the handrail system in the tower and on the lantern gallery at the Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse.

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A $7,000 grant went to the Pensacola Lighthouse Foundation to restore a long-lost iron pedestal to the top of the lighthouse and use it to support a lens that now is suspended from the lantern roof. The pedestal was found a few years ago in the woods near the tower, and has been restored. The grant will go toward the $17,589 project to place it back in its proper location to support the lens and curtail the structural damage caused by the current system.

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In addition, the Morris Island project was a finalist in this year’s grants program, and was selected by Society’s corporate partner, the SeaPak Division of Rich Products Corp., St. Simons Island, Georgia, for its first program donation. The Charleston group will use the $10,000 grant to gain a definitive assessment of the condition of the cofferdam-protected lighthouse and determine what steps can be taken, in what order and at what cost, to preserve the structure. International Chimney Corp., movers of the Cape Hatteras Light and other lighthouses, will do the work.

At this point the Society’s program is open only to not-for-profit groups, with a maximum grant amount of $10,000. As the dedicated preservation fund grows, more grant money will be made available for future projects. Information on applying for future grants may be found on the Society’s website.

If you wish to donate to the Society’s grant program, you can do so online or by calling the Society at 415-362-7255 (Pacific coast time). Questions may also be directed to info@uslhs.org.

Based on previous submission to the Council of American Maritime Museums News Blog. Resubmitted by Candace Clifford, December 23, 2016

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

Advocacy · Funding Sources · News · Preservation

Success! Maritime Heritage Grant Program Restored 

Good News!

Language to amend the National Maritime Heritage Act was included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (the Defense bill) that was favorably voted on today by the US House of Representatives (375 to 34). Members of the House and Senate reached agreement on the bill last week after a summer of tough negotiating. The Senate will consider it next week. Once passed, the president is expected to sign the bill.

The maritime heritage grant program will be restored. Funding for the program was diverted by an amendment to the National Maritime Heritage Act in 2010, initiated by the US Maritime Administration. Advocacy by the maritime heritage community and the support of members of Congress resulted in that agency’s commitment of $7M to the grant program over the past few years.

The new legislation mandates that 18.75% [a 6.25% increase over prior years] of all ship scrapping proceeds will be committed to the maritime heritage grant program (my goal was 25%, so we have some more work to do). The funds will be transferred to the Department of the Interior where the National Park Service will continue to administer the competitive grant program. The grants fund maritime heritage education and preservation projects.

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The Town of North Hempstead received a maritime heritage grant for the rehabilitation of Stepping Stones Lighthouse, NY, in 2015. Photo by Rich Gales, 2009

Additional amendments to the Defense bill require greater transparency in the Maritime Administration’s ship scrapping operations, including timely reporting on the funds available, and the use of funds for the preservation and presentation to the public of the Maritime Administration’s maritime heritage property.

These changes are all beneficial to the maritime heritage grant program.

My thanks to all who have supported this effort.

Submitted by Tim Runyan, Chair, National Maritime Alliance, December 2, 2016 

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

News · Preservation

Old Baldy Prepares for 200th Birthday

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Much needed repairs are being performed to Old Baldy Lighthouse in time for her 200th Celebration Year. Photo courtesy Old Baldy Foundation.

According to The Keeper’s Times Newsletter issued by the Old Baldy Foundation on November 18, 2016:

The Old Baldy Foundation has contracted International Chimney (IC) to perform overdue and much needed repairs to Old Baldy Lighthouse. The lighthouse’s primary preservation issue continues to be damage caused by water infiltration. Initial interior and exterior repairs performed in the 1990s have been proven futile as long as water continues to get in through the lantern room.

The water trapped inside the lighthouse’s brick walls causes interior and exterior stucco to pop and fall off in chunks, especially in cold weather when water freezes and expands behind the stucco surface. You may have noticed new, exposed patches of brick in recent years.

Engineers from IC inspected the tower in June 2014. Their proposal at the time concentrated on waterproofing the top of the lighthouse from the sandstone masonry cap and above. Proposed repairs included removal and refabrication of the vent ball at the very top, repair the cast iron cornice, make masonry repairs to the parapet wall and lantern curb, remove and reinstall louvered door with a proper flange, and repair or replace brass vents in parapet wall at a cost of around $125,000.

When IC returned this November they performed another inspection and found that substantial damage had occurred in just 1 and 1/2 years. Further repairs, in excess of an additional $100,000, will be performed in January 2017. These include stripping the cast iron curtain wall, replacing severely damaged cast iron members with stainless, replacing the glass with laminated glass with a solar film, remove inappropriate caulking from roof and replace with solder, and patch exterior in areas where brick is showing.

2oothlogoOld Baldy’s 200th year celebration will include a variety of events including a Quilt Adventure benefit May 10 – 13, 2017. See the full Calendar of Events on their website.

U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.