News · Preservation

Old Baldy Prepares for 200th Birthday

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

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