While May marks the transition of seasons for many Americans, it marks a more unique period of time for the government, “Lighthouse Season.” Each May, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) offers lighthouses to the public and other agencies. This year, a record number of free lighthouses are up for grabs and auction, here’s how you could be the new owner of one.
Now you may be wondering why these lighthouses are being offered to the public. In short, it’s because technology has rendered them mostly obsolete. And as such, many of our nation’s lighthouses have fallen into neglect or have been demolished. In order to protect the history and heritage of lighthouses, Congress passed the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act in 2000.
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A partnership among the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA), US Coast Guard (USCG), Department of Homeland Security, Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS), and GSA – transfers these historic landmarks from the USCG to new owners.
They are first offered at no cost to federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofits, educational agencies, and community development organizations.
If a new owner is not found, the lighthouse is offered for competitive sale to the public by GSA through an online auction. So you will have to shell out a bit of cash in order to snag one of these lighthouses.
Starting this June, four lighthouses are being offered to the public via auction. They are the following:
- Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Light in Ohio
- Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light in Michigan
- Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Connecticut
- Stratford Shoal Lighthouse in Connecticut
There are an additional five lighthouses still being offered to federal agencies and nonprofits.
The public auctions begin on June 12th and have a starting bid deposit of $2,000-$10,000. Each lighthouse has a different required bid increment with most starting at $10,000.
If you keep in mind how expensive waterfront property is here in our state, this might just be the most affordable way to live out your seaside living dreams.