For sale: Waterfront property; cozy, great views, plenty of light, needs TLC
Bidding stands at $13,000 for the Kenosha North Pierhead Light in Wisconsin.
July 12th, 2011
11:28 AM ET

For sale: Waterfront property; cozy, great views, plenty of light, needs TLC

If you have always wanted the tallest house in your neighborhood, here's your chance.

The federal government is auctioning off three decommissioned lighthouses, and the bids are still pretty low.

As of Tuesday morning, the Kenosha North Pierhead Light in Wisconsin is sitting at $13,000. In Ohio, three bids for the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light have risen to $39,500. The bidding ends Wednesday for both.

You have another week to bid on Ohio's Conneaut Harbor West Breakwater Light, which has drawn but one bid for $5,000, possibly because it could not easily be converted into a home or bed and breakfast.

"They're in varying states of repair or disrepair," General Services Administration official John E.B. Smith told The Washington Post. "They're not cheap to maintain."

Also available, but not to individual buyers, are 12 other lighthouses. The General Services Administration is trying to give them away to local governments or qualified agencies to be preserved as historic or educational sites. They are:

  • San Pedro's Point Fermin Light, California;
  • Fowey Rocks Light, Florida;
  • Ile aux Galetts Light, Michigan;
  • Port Austin Reef Light, Michigan;
  • Alpena Light, Michigan;
  • Brandywine Shoal Light, New Jersey;
  • Ship John Shoal Light, New Jersey;
  • Miah Maull Shoal Light, New Jersey;
  • Race Rock Light, New York;
  • Orient Point Light, New York;
  • Point Tuna (Punta Tuna) Light, Puerto Rico;
  • Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse, Wisconsin.

The lighthouses are outmoded by more modern means of navigation but still have historical value. The U.S. Coast Guard and National Park Service are offering them under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

Interested organizations need to submit a letter and complete a stringent application process. If no suitable steward is identified, the lighthouses will be auctioned to the general public, the GSA says.

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Filed under: Architecture • Auctions
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Victor Schramm

    Honestly, does Alison Kosik practice pouting her lips, and her facial expressions in front of the mirror all day? Amazing reporter. She kind of looks like Molder from The X Files from the bridge of her nose down to her chin.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. swin

    The only problem is that once you buy it the government will then tell you the only kind of light you're allowed to put in it.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruderalis

      I was thinking it would be cool to make the light into a giant Bat Man waning signal!

      July 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      it does sound cool... but when I googled one of the lighhouses, it was up for auction in 2008 as well. Maybe it didn't sell then.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      The lightbulb industry, consumer protection groups, and prior to this controversy the republican party ALL support the measure, because it IT HELPS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Ideologs like you are a cancer.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • idiot-swin

      Swim, uou are really dumb.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. countryboy

    I want it I want it http://WWW.CDBABY.COM/ALL/NUMONE buy now!

    July 12, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. mr2kool

    yea right it must be haunted if the government is selling it!

    July 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Goodstuff

    So I herd u leik mudkipz?

    July 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. whatsupdoc

    wow, Mr. Kavanagh, You left out alot of important info about them.... Anybody would have to be foolish to sink money into those property.

    Least people can go to the GSA site and read more about it. If you dont feel like typing, maybe just put up a link......

    July 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melina319

      Before you run your mouth you should check your facts. There is a link. Click the highlighted words "auction off" and you will be linked to the GSA website.

      July 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ruderalis

    It would be so fun to live in one of these. I wish I could afford one. The prices on them seem pretty low. I wonder about maintenance though. This reminds me of the movie The Fog, where ghostly pirates come back to claim their booty near a lighthouse.

    July 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Queen

    Somebody will snap them up and open a bed and breakfast.
    It's what I'd do!

    July 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. goodluck

    They tried this several years ago with the Point No Point Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. They had bids of at least 130K but the governmnet couldn't get out of it's own way to approve the sale. Still tied up in a regulatory mess.

    July 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GrandpasLighthouse

    My grandfather's lighthouse was decommissioned and is now a park in South Portland, Maine (Bug Light). I wish I could buy a lighthouse, but if it can't be turned into a b&b or a home, I'm not interested. Oh well.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Queen

    I'm sure swin meant that as a toungue-in-cheeck comment; that's how I took it.

    Even if he didn't harsh much?

    July 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Harsh yes, but I stand by my statement. We are in serious trouble when ideology takes president over common sence and fact. I refuse to tolerate uninformed opinions when it threatens the economic situation of not just the country but me personally.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Serious Trouble

      We are in serious trouble when we can't spell correctly. I refuse to tolerate it.


      July 12, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Queen


    July 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stan Marsh

    I wonder who gets to pay for maintenance the breaker wall? What happens if the government decides they are no longer responsible for it? Now the owner has to maintain a giant slab of concrete that is constantly being battered and eroded by waves.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • dsa

      I'm sure that is exactly why the bids are so low. The breaker itself probably goes with the lighthouse. Sounds like a great deal up front unless you have the army corp of engineers backing you up, the maintenance would prob be in the hundreds of thousands.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bailoutsos

    "trying to give them away to local governments" --- Uh, they are broke and could not maintain them.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bawla insaan

    well i am gonna buy one of these and convert into a honeymoon suite, dumb ppl pay too dollars for their honeymoons.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
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