Online contest could net money for restoration at Point No Point lighthouse

The Point No Point lighthouse circa 1918. - Courtesy U.S. Lighthouse Society
The Point No Point lighthouse circa 1918.
— image credit: Courtesy U.S. Lighthouse Society

HANSVILLE — The Point No Point lighthouse is neck and neck with some of Seattle's most famous landmarks in a competition for grant money.

On Tuesday, the lighthouse was ranked fourth among 25 nominees for Partners in Preservation grants, a $1 million pool of money offered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express.

A public online vote is being used to pick the top preservation project. Voting began April 15 and supporters can vote for their favorite project once each day until May 12.

The winner will receive its full funding request but each of the 25 landmarks will receive some amount of funding.

The United States Lighthouse Society, a non-profit group based in the Point No Point lighthouse, applied for the $118,000 grant to repair the lighthouse building.

"It was exciting to get on the list," Lighthouse Society Executive Director Jeff Gales said. "It was exciting just to be asked to apply, period."

The Point No Point lighthouse was built in 1879 and is the oldest lighthouse on Puget Sound. The lighthouse is still functional and the U.S. Coast Guard operates a radar tower on the property.

The Lighthouse Society will use the grant money to fix up the building that houses the light itself. Work will include sealing cracks, replacing windows and making other "bricks and mortar" improvements, Gales said.

"It's really done pretty well for being that old, in the harsh environment," he said. "If we get this grant, it will be here for another 150 years, no doubt."

The Lighthouse Society has planned renovations for all three main buildings on the lighthouse property. In the fall it received $72,000 to restore the lighthouse keeper's workshop, a small building near the parking lot. The workshop project should be completed by the end of May, Gales said.

The society plans to eventually renovate the keeper's house, a two-story duplex which houses the society's offices and a vacation rental.

The county recently applied to take ownership of the property surrounding the lighthouse, which was declared surplus by the Coast Guard in October. The county already owns adjoining property and operates a park at the lighthouse.

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