Friday, January 20, 2012

Lighthouse News!

Five Apostle Islands Lighthouses To Be Restored.

The National Park Service's largest and oldest collection of lighthouses is due to get a major facelift. Five of the six light stations in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore will undergo some restoration. This is the most ambitious preservation effort in the Apostle Islands. It'll begin this spring and end in 2013, restoring and repairing not only the lighthouse towers but also many of the out-buildings where lighthouse keepers lived with their families.
As big as it the tune of $7 million...Apostle Islands Lakeshore Superintendent Bob Krumanaker says they'd need twice that amount to get everything restored.
"We have no prospect of seeing that for the foreseeable future, and we knew that," he says. "So, we very carefully said 'Okay, what is the most cost-effective first increment of that using the available money? Let's not leave any light station half done."
So work will range from complete interior/exterior work to simply shoring up structures.
The six light stations with eight light towers range from the 1850's to 1900. Park Historian Dave Cooper says this is a challenge because no structure is the same.
"You've got an 1856 masonry tower and building on Michigan Island which represents one of the earliest lighthouse designs," he says.
Cooper says they'll save as much original material as they can. The $7 million federal grant was awarded in 2009, but it took more than two years to draw up designs to get to the actual work.
About the Author
Mike Simonson
Wisconsin Public Radio

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