The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Restoration project is about to begin, and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) has created a new page on their website where the public can learn about the endeavor, and track the progress as the work is underway.
Built in 1868-70, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has understandably suffered some wear and tear due to regular exposure to salt air, high winds, intense sunlight, and a 2,900 ft. move to its current location in 1999. The upcoming renovation will address a myriad of repairs and upgrades, which range from the marble surfaces in the interior, to the light at the top of the 198-foot tall structure.
Per the new webpage, the detailed design work for the project is already underway. A team of historical architects, engineers, and CHNS staff, (in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office), are continuing to review condition assessments, historical drawings, and restoration techniques to formulate a scope of work for the full restoration project.
In preparation for contracting the full project, CHNS is also currently performing work that will assist with finalizing the restoration plans. That work includes:
- Testing exterior paint removal methods, which was finalized in late 2020.
- Monitoring interior humidity to enhance understanding of historic water intrusion and condensation, which is in progress.
- Removing all the interior paint to help the park and potential contractors fully assess the condition of the interior masonry and metalwork prior to restoration, which is about to begin.
Paint removal in the interior of the lighthouse is expected to start in early or mid-March, and will continue through early summer 2021.
After the paint is removed, there is a possibility of implementing a short lighthouse climbing season later in the summer. Progress with the paint removal and COVID-19 safety requirements will be considered, and CHNS will provide updated communications on the potential for climbing in May.
The full restoration project is scheduled to start later this year after a competitive contracting process and contract award, and repair work is expected to take approximately one year to complete.
For more information on the project, both now and in the months to come, visit the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s new page dedicated to the project at http://go.nps.gov/cahalighthouserestoration.
To learn about the background of the project, see https://islandfreepress.org/hatteras-island-features/design-phase-underway-for-cape-hatteras-lighthouse-restoration-project/.