State News

Repairs have started on Bald Head Island lighthouse

Posted November 26

— Workers have started repairs on a 200-year-old lighthouse on Bald Head Island.

The StarNews in Wilmington (http://bit.ly/2fCzwnd ) reports that workers began on fixes this month that will include waterproofing measures at Old Baldy.

Old Baldy Foundation executive director Chris Webb says water damage is the main concern. He says water seeps in and can cause exterior stucco to crack and break off especially if temperatures dip below freezing.

"The lighthouse's primary preservation issue continues to be damage caused by water infiltration," he said.

Old Baldy will stay open to the public, but some areas are restricted.

Webb says it has been about a decade since significant repairs were done. He said that despite prior rounds of repairs, "water continues to get in through the lantern room."

An inspection a couple of years ago estimated repairs at $125,000, but the newspaper says that additional damage has happened since then.

Earlier this month, an inspection found that needed repairs ranged from replacing cast-iron with steel to installing laminated glass.

There will also be work done to waterproof the top of the lighthouse. Workers will caulk the roof and patch the exterior where brick has been exposed.

Webb says the foundation is in good financial condition to afford the repairs. It generates funding through tours, a museum and donors.

The lighthouse was built in 1817. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1935, but it was used during World War II as a radio beacon.

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