18 May 2021
The General Services Administration, or GSA, says the United States Coast Guard has decided it no longer needs four of the nation's most beautiful lighthouses. And it is inviting certain types of organizations to take them over at no cost.
The GSA is the business and accounting agency of the U.S. federal government. Among other jobs, it manages all federally-owned buildings.
The GSA has been letting go many of the lighthouses it no longer uses. It is releasing Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, Rhode Island. The lighthouse is America's third oldest, and it was present during the American Revolutionary War.
The other available lighthouses are Watch Hill Lighthouse, Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse, and Duluth Harbor North Pierhead Lighthouse. Watch Hill Lighthouse is in Westerly, Rhode Island, near the beachside house of American pop star Taylor Swift.
The Cleveland Harbor lighthouse is in Ohio, and Duluth Harbor Lighthouse is in Minnesota.
There is a condition. The government said it will make the historic lighthouses and their outbuildings available for free to certain groups.
They include federal, state and local government agencies. Additionally, nonprofit organizations or educational and community development agencies may take the buildings. Groups which work with parks, outdoor enjoyment, culture or historic preservation may take them as well.
Paul Hughes is a spokesperson for GSA. He said the U.S. Coast Guard decided that they no longer needed Beavertail Lighthouse. The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Beavertail Lighthouse has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1977. The National Register of Historic Places works to protect historic places and buildings.
Beavertail Lighthouse is a 19.5-meter-high stone lighthouse that faces south where Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound meet. It offers beautiful views of the ocean.
Only the base of the original lighthouse remains. It was built in 1759. It was then burned down by British soldiers leaving the Newport area in 1779 during the American Revolution. The current lighthouse was built in 1856 with six additional structures, totaling 480 square meters.
Hughes said the government wants groups to express their interest in the next 60 days. The National Park Service will review the applications.
Watch Hill Lighthouse is a three-story stone block tower with an iron and glass light on top. It is surrounded by water on three sides. It is attached to a two-story building built in 1935. The outbuildings include an oil house built in 1855 to 1856.
The Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse was built in 1911 to guide ships near the Port of Cleveland. It housed a Coast Guard Station until 1976.
It is best known for its yearly change into a beautiful ice tower when winter temperatures freeze lake water onto the building. A sister lighthouse, Cleveland Harbor East Pierhead Lighthouse, was sold a few years ago for $10,000.
Duluth Harbor North Pierhead Lighthouse was built in 1910. It is located on the westernmost tip of Lake Superior. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
I'm Anna Matteo.
William J. Kole reported this story for the Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English. Susan Shand was the editor.
Words in This Story
lighthouse – n. a tower with a powerful light that is built on or near the shore to guide ships away from danger
view – n. the things that can be seen from a particular place
preservation – n. the act of keeping something in its original state or in good condition