Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Joan Moody
For Immediate Release: April 26, 2005
(202) 208-6416

Secretary Norton Announces New Owners for More Lighthouses Under Popular Program

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton today announced her selection of candidates to receive ownership of four lighthouses under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act and announced that applications are being accepted for ownership of nine others.

The secretary's recommendations on the four lighthouses are forwarded to the administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, who will transfer ownership of the lighthouses from the U.S. Coast Guard to the new owners.

"Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, these lighthouses are going at no cost to selected private or public groups who have demonstrated their capability to care for these wonderful cultural icons," Norton said. "I am pleased to announce new stewards for these four lighthouses."

Secretary Norton and the National Park Service, in partnership with GSA and the Coast Guard, have made 50 lighthouses and stations available for transfer from the Coast Guard since 2001. With more than 200 additional lighthouses potentially available for transfer, more decisions are expected this year.

Secretary Gale Norton to date has recommended new owners for 18 of the 50 lighthouses, including the four announced today. The program has been immensely popular and featured in Parade Magazine. Recipients of lighthouses qualify for the program's requirements and ensure stewardship of the lighthouses for public parks and recreation and for cultural, educational and historic preservation purposes rather than for private use.

The four lighthouses announced today include those listed below. They join previously transferred historic structures along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the Great Lakes. (For more information, see :

* Bakers Island Light Station to the Essex National Heritage Commission located in Salem, Mass.
* St. James Light Tower to St. James Township, Mich.
* New London Harbor Light to the New London Maritime Society in New London, Conn.
* West Point Light, Washington to the city of Seattle, Wash.

The secretary will be considering applications for new ownership of nine lighthouses in the coming months. For more information about these lighthouses, application deadlines, your group's eligibility and other information, go to

  • Sandy Point Shoal Light Station, Md.
  • Marcus Hook Light Station, Del.
  • Toledo Harbor Lighthouse, Ohio
  • Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light, Ohio
  • Menominee North Pierhead Light, Mich.
  • Ludington North Breakwater Light, Mich.
  • Holland Harbor South Pierhead Light, Mich.
  • Charlevoix South Pierhead Light, Mich.

Chicago Harbor Lighthouse, Ill.
More about the process: The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 provided a process for transferring historic light station properties at no cost to qualifying federal agencies, tribes, state and local governments, nonprofit corporations, educational agencies and community-development organizations. These groups must agree to comply with conditions set forth in the law and be financially able to maintain the historic light station.

  • The U.S. Coast Guard and other federal agencies identify and nominate historic light stations they no longer need. The stations must be listed or eligible for listing under the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The GSA issues notices of availability on historic light stations available for transfer, and works with the Coast Guard to arrange open houses at the properties. In addition, GSA initiates Section 106 reviews with state historic-preservation officers and other required legal reviews.
  • The National Park Service, acting on behalf of the secretary of the Interior, provides applications to interested parties and reviews and evaluates submitted applications. The NPS Maritime Heritage Program in Washington, D.C ., managed the pilot and national phases of the program. Evaluation of applications was transferred to NPS regional offices on April 29, 2004. General questions regarding the program should be addressed to

The secretary of the Interior recommends a single, suitable applicant to GSA or indicates that no suitable applicant was found. She announces that she has set in motion the transfer to the applicant.




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