Bodie Island Lighthouse is finalist in national restoration contest

Posted September 19, 2008

Bodie Island Lighthouse has been named one of three finalists in a national competition for some free help with restoration.

The other finalists in the JELD-WEN's Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative are Grand Traverse Lighthouse on Lake Michigan and New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans, which was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

"It is a true honor to have one of the National Seashore's beloved lighthouses chosen from among 50 nominees around the United States," Mike Murray, superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore said.

Contest organizers called Bodie Island Lighthouse "a beacon and comfort and light for a dangerous stretch of eastern coastline known as 'the Graveyard of the Atlantic.'" They described it as "a visually striking lighthouse with a black-and-white striped tower."

Members of the public cast nearly half a million votes to narrow down the final 12 contestants, according to JELD-WEN, the manufacturer that conducts the contest.

"The outpouring of public support has been incredible, and every single vote has made a difference," Lynne Butterworth, JELD-WEN lighthouse project manager, said. "The people have spoken, and now, we need to complete our due diligence and consider all criteria for the final selection."

To pick the winner, JELD-WEN will thoroughly evaluate each lighthouse to determine its need, overall restoration plans and historic preservation requirements.

Bodie Island Lighthouse needs a major stabilization of its 156-foot-tall tower to allow it to be opened it to the public. The lighthouse also needs new windows and doors.

The 136-year-old lighthouse still uses its original Fresnel lens, which contest organizers said is in great condition.

The contest winner will receive custom-made doors and windows from JELD-WEN. Organizers plan to select the winner later this fall.


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