The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has made 12 historic lighthouses available, free of charge, as part of a government program under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA). The program, which is administered by the GSA in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Park Service (NPS), provides historic lighthouses with new owners willing to help preserve important parts of national maritime history. Eligible local and state entities, nonprofits, preservation groups, and community development organizations can acquire the lighthouses as long as they are financially able to maintain the facilities and willing to follow the guidelines laid out by the NHLPA.
The 12 newly available lighthouses make up a geographically diverse group. Included among them are: the Ile Aux Galets, Port Austin Reef Light, and Alpena Breakwater Light in Michigan; the Brandywine Shoals Light, Ship John Shoal, and Miah Maull Shoal Light in New Jersey; Race Rock and Orient Point lights in New York; the Point Tuna Light in Puerto Rico; the Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse in Wisconsin; the Flowery Rocks Light in Florida; and the Point Fermin Light in California. Groups interested in acquiring any of these lighthouses will need to send a letter expressing interest to the NPS and fill out an application, which can be downloaded online. If after 12 to 18 months no suitable group is found to take over a lighthouse, it will be sold at a public auction, according to the GSA.
In a press release announcing the availability of the 12 lighthouses, GSA public building services deputy commissioner David Foley emphasized their importance. "These diverse lighthouses are testaments to the richness and beauty of American history and serve as markers of exploration and discovery. GSA is committed to ensuring that these national beacons of light and life are transferred to new stewards dedicated to preserving their historic significance,” he said.
For more information on these properties and the application process, visit www.nps.gov/history/maritime/nhlpa/nhlpa.htm.