Advertisement
 
Monday, July 25, 2016
Amsterdam, NY ,

 

Advertisement

Feds are selling off lighthouses

Thursday, September 04, 2014 - Updated: 8:21 AM

YORK, Maine (AP) -- Lighthouses for sale ... Actually, lots of lighthouses for free.

Technological advances and a desire to purge unneeded properties have paved the way for the federal government to get rid of more than 100 lighthouses over the last 14 years, and it intends to keep selling and giving them away. The sold lighthouses, located on both coasts and in the Great Lakes states, have become everything from museums to bed-and-breakfasts.

Dave Waller, who purchased the Graves Island Light Station in the mouth of Boston Harbor for a record $933,888 last year, is retrofitting the turn-of-the-century lighthouse into a private home that can double as a vacation rental. He's trying to fashion a bedroom as far as possible from the foghorn -- a challenging feat in a building with about 750 feet of livable space.

"It just seemed like a chance to have something a little more independent and on your own," Waller said.

Sixty-eight of the lighthouses have gone for free to preservationists while 36 others sold at public auction thanks to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, which allows the government to dispose of federally-owned lighthouses. The act turns 14 next month. The Coast Guard, which maintains lighthouses, has 71 other lighthouses queued up to go through the transfer process, and four are at auction now.

The Coast Guard owns 254 light houses, officials said. The question is more about which ones it will keep than which ones it will eventually sell, said Jeff Gales, executive director of the non-profit U.S. Lighthouse Society.

"There is an end in sight," Gales said. "There's a limited number of lighthouses."

The federal General Services Administration, which sells the lighthouses, does not have a target number of how many lighthouses it would like to sell and give away, but the Coast Guard is always looking to shed excess lighthouses that "are often no longer critical" to the guard's work, said Patrick Sclafani, a spokesman for the agency. Buyers and preservationists typically allow the Coast Guard access to the lighthouses so it can maintain the lights, all of which are automated.

The administration is the nearing the end of an online auction for the Halfway Rock Light Station off of Harpswell, Maine. The lighthouse is attracting interest, with a half dozen bidders and a high bid of more than $240,000. That's a good figure for a lighthouse that is only accessible by boat, a feature that frequently drives bidders away, Gales said.

     

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Advertisement
Subscribe to The Recorder

 

The Recorder Sports Schedule

Most Popular

    Area sports calendar
    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Legislature to discuss CFA resolution at Tuesday meeting
    Monday, July 18, 2016

    MCSPCA rescues cats from hoarding situation
    Friday, July 22, 2016

    Four arrested for drug possession in Amsterdam
    Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    County tackles staffing, overtime in sheriff's office
    Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    Amsterdam loses bid for $10M state grant
    Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    Daniel J. 'Pucky' Agresta
    Friday, July 22, 2016

    New eatery to open this week at former Sorrenti's Pizzeria in Fonda
    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Generator project breaking ground in Amsterdam
    Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Students urge GASD board to reconsider termination of AHS Spanish teacher
    Thursday, July 21, 2016

Advertisement

Copyright © McClary Media, Inc.

Privacy Policies: The Recorder

Contact Us

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook