Nobska Point Light, the Woods Hole lighthouse that ranks among the Cape’s most scenic destinations, could be on the block, as the Coast Guard looks to find a new caretaker for the weathered property.
The Coast Guard may designate the historic beacon and an adjoining residence excess property after an inspection turned up $550,000 in needed repairs. The Coast Guard will continue to maintain the light itself, but would otherwise yield responsibility to another owner, part of a broad effort over the past decade to transfer the historic signals.
Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, the federal government must offer lighthouses free of charge to towns, nonprofit groups, or other public agencies. If none steps forward, an auction is held, allowing private citizens a chance to buy the beacons.
In Woods Hole, where the lighthouse is a beloved part of the landscape, news of the Coast Guard’s plans have sparked keen interest in acquiring it.
“This is a valued landmark,” said Jay Zavala, president of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce. “It’s one of the anchors of the community.”
Community leaders predict that residents will be eager to preserve the cherished landmark, despite the high cost of repairs, and that a nonprofit group will ultimately step forward. With fund-raising, the lighthouse could be refurbished and potentially be made into a museum, enhancing its tourist appeal.
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