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St. Joseph Pierhead and Inner Lights

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Postby mikev » Wed May 21, 2008 7:42 am


This is a photographic favorite, but now you can own it. These lights just became available under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. I've posted the notice below.

And, actually, I wouldn't recommend ownership unless you're part of a non-profit organization, not an individual. I've been doing the nuts-and-bolts preservation job since 1985, and it's time and resource intensive. And as part of the community input into NHLPA and its implementation guidelines, I can assure you there's a hard look taken to make sure lighthouses go to the best possible stewardship entities -- municipal, non-profit or otherwise.

Here's the notice:

Subject: St.Joseph Pierhead & Inner Lights NOA & Fact Sheet Screening Notice :, MICHIGAN
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 15:24:54 -0400 (EDT) Status: Normal

National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act - Notice of Availability

Title: St.Joseph Pierhead & Inner Lights NOA & Fact Sheet
City and/or County: St. Joseph/
State: MICHIGAN
File Name: St.Joseph Pierhead & Inner Lights NOA & Fact Sheet.pdf
Description: Two historic lights: 1) The pierhead light consists of white cast iron construction with a black cylindrical lantern on top. The tower height is 35 feet. 2) The inner light consists of a steel-framed fog signal building, with a hipped roof surmounted by an octagonal light tower. Overall, the structure is about 57 feet high from the base to the top of the ventilator ball. Both structures are situated on a pier.
For more information please contact the PR staff member listed in the Notice of Availability.

To view or download the notice, please click on the following link:

https://extportal.pbs.gsa.gov/ResourceC ... ticetype=4
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Wed May 21, 2008 9:29 pm


Gary and Mike pretty much own these lights already. Guys, why don't you just seal the deal?????

:D
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Postby Hersh » Thu May 22, 2008 5:30 am


Yeah, like I don't have enough hassles in my life... I'd have to sell my kids!!

Not that I'd mind making a small sleeping room in the lighthouse for myself.....
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Postby Gary Martin » Thu May 22, 2008 7:55 am


Sell the kids, hmmmm, wasn't one of the tugs retinting the carpet one day when I called using yellow French's mustard or something Hersh :?: :?: :?: :?: ROTFL... =)) =)) =)) because my kids have done similar stuff as have the kids of everyone who frequents this site, I'm sure :!:
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Postby Grover1 » Fri May 23, 2008 4:37 am


As reported locally ... from WNDU NBC16

http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/19198479.html
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Sun May 25, 2008 6:41 am


Mike, you could be like the old lady who lived in the shoe.............. :wink: :lol:

Barry, thanks for the update. It's really scary to think that St. Joe could actually lose those pier lights. Hopefully the news will stay positive, though, and suitable ownership secured.
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Postby Gary Martin » Sun May 25, 2008 6:46 am


I was just in St Joe last week for the opening of my exhibit at the Krasl Art Center. The city of St Joseph is interested in assuming the ownership of the lights from what I was told. Hopefully they'll be a good steward for them and will get them open to the public, at least on occasion.
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Sun May 25, 2008 6:51 am


Gary, that would definitely be excellent. Let's hope that does come to pass. :D
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Postby Hersh » Sun May 25, 2008 10:26 am


I love and hate reading the comments people post at the ends of stories on news sites. I read the comments at the bottom of the story and some dingbat is talking about how the lighthouse should be brought back to South Bend where it belongs and have it put by a bridge. It's truly scary how dumb some people are.
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Mon May 26, 2008 5:47 am


Agreed, Mike. [-X Shame on them!
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Postby Grover1 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:26 am


Uh-oh! Congress wants to help! From WNDU16

http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/22977974.html
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Postby Gary Martin » Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:22 am


Actually, Fred Upton was our local Congressional Representative when we lived in Kalamazoo. He's really one of the good guys. Hopefully, his endorsement will speed the acquistiion of the St Joe north pier lights.
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Postby Grover1 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:45 pm


Not much in this article ... from WNDU

http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/34813689.html
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Postby Grover1 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:35 pm


The source said subscription but it opened for me ... copied JIC it doesnt open for you ... from The Herald Palladium

By DAVID WARFIELD - H-P Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 1:10 PM EDT
ST. JOSEPH - The city of St. Joseph is still waiting to take ownership of the St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse.

City commissioners on Monday authorized city staff to send back a more complete application to the National Parks Service. The NPS received the city's original application in January, but returned it several weeks later and ask for more information, city officials said.

"They needed additional details on how we would handle the historical interpretation part, like details over any contract we would have with the Heritage (Museum and Cultural) Center, what times we would keep the lighthouse open, and other things like that," Community Development Director John Hodgson said after Monday's meeting.

Even if the lighthouse is given to the city, Hodgson said, the buildings will probably not be open to the public this summer.

Hodgson said "it is still up in the air," how the city and the Heritage Center would work together for the historical preservation, but that an understanding is in place that the museum would have a role.

"Conceptually, the city would be in charge of maintenance. We haven't yet discussed how (the cooperation) would work," Hodgson said.

The city hired an Ann Arbor-based historical architect last August to assess the inner and outer lighthouse structures. The assessment cost $17,700. It was money given by private donors for lighthouse preservation. City staff have since built a maintenance plan addressing what immediate work is needed.

"There's lot of work that needs to be done" before people could go inside the inner lighthouse, Hodgson said. "Part of the ceiling has collapsed, for one thing."

The NPS has approved the city's plans for the one-time rehabilitation work. The estimated budget for full restoration is about $1 million, which the city hopes to raise through additional private donations, Hodgson said.

The cost to the city may be less, he said, because Coast Guard may take on some of the rehab work this summer.

U.S. Coast Guard officials in Muskegon verified Tuesday the Coast Guard district office in Cleveland may contract for repairs on the St. Joseph North Pier inner and/or outer lights this summer, while the lighthouse is still in federal hands.

If the city gets the lighthouse, Hodgson said, it has not been determined how the city would pay for maintenance over the years.

The city could get grants from a Michigan state lighthouse preservation fund - grants that are usually in the amount of $30,000, Hodgson said.

The Berrien County Community Foundation has set aside $19,500 for the city to use on lighthouse preservation.

The city was the only body, public or private, that applied to take over the lighthouse in the past year, after the federal government put the inner and outer structures up for grabs last spring.

The lighthouse has been the subject of thousands of photographs and paintings over its 103 years. Its image has been on a U.S. postage stamp and is the central icon of the St. Joseph city seal.

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Postby Gary Martin » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:43 pm


One of my favorite lights to photograph but the photo posted with the text above, Barry, was hardly inspired photography. It also, unfortunately for those who have never seen the St Joe north pier lights, doesn't give an hint of the outer light, which is a shame.
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