The first lighthouse was built more than 2,000 years ago, but in recent years, the iconic structures have started to lose their shine—or at least since ships started using GPS to avoid crashing into rocks or running aground on the shoreline. However, unlike pay phones, we’ve decided to keep some of these beacons of an earlier era around for nostalgia, historical context, or purely aesthetic reasons. And right now, you have the rare chance to own a piece of obsolete history yourself, for a price or completely for free, as long as you meet the requirements.

The U.S. General Service Administration recently issued a press release announcing plans to auction off, or give away, a record number of lighthouses this year—10 of them, to be exact. The opportunity comes thanks to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, which aims to ease the financial strain on taxpayers by selling or giving away government-owned lighthouses.

Which lighthouses are up for grabs?

There are currently five (previously six) lighthouses being given away for free to federal, state, or local government agencies; nonprofits; or educational or community development organizations that are financially able to maintain them and willing to make them publicly available for education, park, recreation, cultural, or historic preservation purposes.

  • Lynde Point Lighthouse, Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
  • Nobska Lighthouse, Falmouth (Woods Hole), Massachusetts.
  • Plymouth/Gurnet Lighthouse, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • Warwick Neck Light, Warwick, Rhode Island.
  • Little Mark Island and Monument, Harpswell, Maine.

The Erie Harbor North Pier Lighthouse in Erie, Pennsylvania was previously on this list, but the “Notice of Availability” (NOA) for that property has since closed.

If the above lighthouses do not find an owner during the NOA process, they will be auctioned off to the public by the GSA along with these four lighthouses:

How to get a lighthouse for free

If you’re part of a federal, state, or local government agency, or a nonprofit, educational organization, or community development organization, you’re eligible for the free lighthouse giveaway. To apply, you will need to fill out these forms and follow the prompts to the application. (Keep in mind nobody from the application pool has to be chosen if there are no strong candidates.)

How to buy a lighthouse from the government

If you’re a regular Joe (with some money to throw around), you’ll have to bid in the online auction, starting in June 2023. Since the program began in 2000, the GSA has sold around 70 lighthouses at prices ranging from $10,000 to about $1 million. If you buy one through this process, you do not need to make it available for public use, since it’ll become your private property. (Previous purchasers have turned lighthouses into private residences, according to the AP.)

If you do end up with a lighthouse, don’t forget to keep yourself well stocked in lightbulbs, and steer clear of Willem Dafoe.

#U.S #Government #Selling #Giving #Lighthouses

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