Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lighthouses for Sale

U.S. Coast Guard looks to sell 2 Jersey Shore lighthouses
The lighthouses for sale are the Romer Shoal Light Station, just north of Sandy Hook Bay, and the Great Beds Lighthouse, one mile east of South Amboy in Raritan Bay. Romer Shoal is a romantic but rusty 54-foot iron tower with brick interiors and broken windows sitting atop a necklace of slimy rocks.

Great Beds is a better-kept 47-foot tower perched on a narrow block of concrete in a section of the bay with heavy ship traffic.

The lighthouses are only accessible by boat. Their solar-powered lights are still active and maintained by the Coast Guard, which will retain the right to access the facilities after they are sold.

Built in the 1880s, both lighthouses need more than a coat of paint before they can resemble the cozy getaways of prospective buyers’ dreams.
Everyone gazing over Lower New York Harbor sees sees these fireplug lights, not necessarily clearly; they're small & easy to overlook. The red Romer Shoal is large enough to be habitable, & has the best views. Great Beds is cramped. Both are a mess outside & in. Ideally, they ought to be taken apart piece by piece & reassembled on land as museums. But it would be cheaper to build facsimiles from scratch, Neither is a good candidate for state ownership. Jersey already owns lighthouses. Cape May light is maintained by Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, & much of Barnegat's cost of restoration & upkeep is raised through civic organizations. The Victorian Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is owned by the city of North Wildwood. Sea Girt Light, run by Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee, is a rarely open to visitors.  Maybe a couple of people are wealthy & crazy enough to purchase these two little lights.


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