Lighthouse News of the Week – April 24, 2020

Major Restoration for Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (NC)

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina.
U.S. Lighthouse Society photo

Initial plans are being made to begin a major repair project that will give the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks in North Carolina a well-deserved restoration. The lighthouse has suffered regular exposure to salt air, high winds, intense sunlight, and wear and tear from a 2,900 ft. move to its current site in 1999.

“We’re anticipating that the repair work will begin in the summer of 2021, based on our current schedule,” said Mark Dowdle, Deputy Superintendent of the National Park Service Outer Banks Group. “It’s a broad project, and we’re still developing plans and [evaluating] the scope of what we need to do.”

The National Park Service has received funding for the massive repair project, and the items that need to be addressed stem from the results of a 2014 Comprehensive Condition Assessment Report and a 2016 Historic Structure Report.

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Nantucket Lightship LV 112 (MA) to receive a $487,500 grant for restoration

For 39 years, the LV-112 guided transoceanic shipping through some of the most treacherous shipping lanes in the world in Nantucket Sound. The U.S. Lightship Museum was recently awarded a Save America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service.

Nantucket Lightship LV 112, Creative Commons photo by Arnold Reinhold

LV 112 will receive a $487,500 grant to restore internal structural components   and provide general maintenance critical to maintaining the integrity of the ship’s hull and ability to remain open to the general public for decades to come. To perform the necessary restoration and maintenance work, LV-112 will need to be hauled out of the water and dry-docked, for which preparations currently are underway.

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Pandemic slows lighthouse news

Otherwise, the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing down lighthouse renovations and lighthouse events, along with everything else. Some lighthouse organizations have already delayed or canceled part or all of the 2020 tourist season, while others are in “wait and see” mode. Many organizations will be making decisions in the coming weeks. For the small nonprofit organizations and government agencies that take care of so many of our lighthouses today, it’s a delicate balancing act between safeguarding public health while continuing to fund the preservation of these historic treasures. Whether or not you’re able to visit your favorite lighthouse this year, keep it in your heart. It will be there waiting for you.

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