We have officially signed the licensing agreement with the United States Coast Guard under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act transferring Gasparilla Island Light and its 7.4 acres to our local control! The lighthouse will be fully restored to its former 1927 splendor, and the 7.4 acres of beachfront property that accompanies it will be forever protected from development.
The skeletal lighthouse built in Lewes, Delaware, in 1881, is one of the few standing original range lights in the country that has been an active aid-to-navigation in two states. After it was decommissioned in Delaware, it was taken down piece by piece and erected in Boca Grande in 1927. First lit in 1932, the light flashed every 6 seconds during evening hours and was critical to help guide Phosphate ships into port. Although Boca Grande is no longer a port town, the light remains an active aid-to-navigation today and will continue to be maintained by the United State Coast Guard.
Funding needs for historical reconstruction, sand blasting, painting, door and window replacement, cable anchoring reinforcement, cat walk stabilization and land clean up are estimated at $1,783,000. The project will also include an ADA pathway, natural interior walking trail and low impact interpretative signage. We have retained two globally recognized historical lighthouse experts, Alex Klahm, Architectural Metal & Design of St. Petersburg, Florida, and Kenneth Smith Architects of Jacksonville, Florida. They are joined by Anthony Houlis, Razorback of Tarpon Springs, Florida, who has worked on four lighthouses and recently painted the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The project is expected to take 8 to 10 months to complete. If we receive sufficient donations in the next four weeks, restoration work will begin this summer and could be complete as early as next season.
Contributions to Barrier Island Parks Society, Inc. are tax deductible to the extent provided by law and within IRS guidelines. I.R.S. Exempt Status #65-0327405. To donate by credit card, please select the Donate button above. Checks may be sent directly to: The Light Keeper’s Fund, P.O. Box 654, Boca Grande, Florida 33921. Stock shares may also be transferred; please contact Sharon McKenzie firstname.lastname@example.org or call (941) 964-0060. Memorial contributions, bequests and all donations will be acknowledged in alphabetical order at the site upon the completion of the project.
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“Help Keep the Light Shining” and donate today!