‘Lighthouse season’: US is selling at auction, giving away record number of lighthouses

BOSTON — If you have always dreamed about owning a lighthouse, now may be your chance to consider purchasing one.

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In a news release, the U.S. General Services Administration said that in May of each year, lighthouses are offered to the public and other groups in order to create value as well as savings for taxpayers in federal real estate and what makes this year unique is that the U.S. General Services Administration is offering more lighthouses then usual.

The U.S. General Services Administration said they are offering at least six to nonprofits and government groups and at least four in public auctions.

The reason for the program each year is to preserve the lighthouses that are over a century old, according to The Associated Press.

Lighthouse ownership has been transferred by the U.S. General Services Administration since 2000 after Congress passed the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, according to the AP.

So far, around 150 lighthouses have been transferred -- about 80 given away and around 70 sold at auction, according to the AP. Those sales have raised around $10 million.

The six this year are being given away for free to federal, state, or local agencies, or nonprofits that want to preserve them and make them available for either educational, recreational or even cultural reasons, according to the AP.

“The NHLPA recognizes the significance of historic lighthouses for maritime traffic, coastal communities, nonprofits and lighthouse enthusiasts. The NHLPA program -- a partnership among the USCG, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS), and GSA -- transfers these historic landmarks from the USCG to new owners,” said the U.S. General Services Administration in the news release.

The process begins with the U.S. General Services Administration issuing a Notice of Available also known as NOA, according to the news release. Then an application must be filled out and reviewed by the National Park Service. If an owner is not found during the NOA process, then the lighthouse can go on sale to the public through an auction.

Here is the list of the six historic lighthouses that NOAs have been issued for, according to the U.S. General Services Administration:

  • Lynde Point Lighthouse, Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
  • Nobska Lighthouse, Falmouth (Woods Hole), Massachusetts.
  • Plymouth/Gurnet Lighthouse, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • Warwick Neck Light, Warwick, Rhode Island.
  • Little Mark Island and Monument, Harpswell, Maine.
  • Erie Harbor North Pier Lighthouse, Erie, Pennsylvania. (NOA period recently closed.)

Here is the list of the four historic lighthouses for sale to the public, according to the U.S. General Services Administration:

  • Penfield Reef Lighthouse, Fairfield, Connecticut.
  • Stratford Shoal Light, East Setauket, New York.
  • Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Light, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light, Chassell, Michigan.
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