Initial plans are being made to begin a major repair project that will give the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse a well-deserved restoration from the inside out.
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 site in 1999.
As such, the upcoming renovation will address a myriad of both large and small restoration projects, which range from the marble floors in the entryway, to the lantern at the top of the 198-foot tall structure.
“We’re anticipating that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse repair work will begin in the summer of 2021, based on our current schedule,” said Mark Dowdle, Deputy Superintendent of the National Park Service Outer Banks Group. “It’s a broad project, and we’re still developing plans and [evaluating] the scope of what we need to do.”
There’s a long list of items that will need to be addressed, but the project will include repairs to deteriorated masonry, metal components, windows, marble flooring, and the lantern itself. The project will also restore important architectural components, including missing pediments over the lighthouse windows, and missing interior doors.
“We know we need to work on metals that are deteriorating or rusting, work on the marble floor in the foyer, and some of the brick and mortar components also need refurbishing,” said Dowdle, who noted that work is already underway at identifying these issues. “There will be [renovations] to the stairs, the structure, the historical architecture, and it needs a fresh coat of paint… We haven’t answered all the questions yet on what the work [entails], but that is where we are in the process.”
The National Park Service has received funding for the massive repair project, and the items that need to be addressed stem from the results of a 2014 Comprehensive Condition Assessment Report and a 2016 Historic Structure Report.
The renovations may require closures in the summertime depending on how the project progresses, and there’s a still a long way to go before repairs will officially begin, but in the meantime, lighthouse fans can look forward to a facelift and a fresh look for the 150-year-old landmark in the years to come.