Oregon’s Heceta Head Lighthouse is undergoing a $1.3 million dollar restoration that will bring back the grandeur of the popular and well-loved lighthouse that was constructed in 1894.
Perched high on a cliff, 205 feet above the Pacific Ocean, approximately eleven miles from Florence, Heceta Head Lighthouse, with its spectacular sweeping views, is among the top photographed lighthouses in the United States and has appeared on countless calendars.
Although Heceta Head Lighthouse is not open to the public during the restoration, the grounds and interpretative center are open; making this an ideal opportunity to visit and photograph history in the making. You will leave with memories and photographs that can be shared with generations to come.
Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of a shrinking number of lighthouses to still have its original lens in the tower. However, the lens at Heceta Head Lighthouse is more rare than most. The gigantic first order lens is the largest of lighthouse lenses and was manufactured by Chance Brothers of England. Protecting the valuable artifact during the restoration was a primary concern. The lens had to be stabilized and then covered in foam and plywood for protection, as can be seen in these images.
Sue Licht, Oregon Parks and Recreation preservation architect said, “This is a top-to-bottom restoration, inside and out.” The restoration will include, but is not limited to, repairing and replacing the roofs, replacing the ladder rails, restoring the chimney, uncovering, replacing and repairing the corbels, replace and re-glazing of the lantern, clean and paint the exterior metal, remove and replace the stucco, replace the electrical system, and the cleaning and repainting of the stairs.
Additionally, the rusted old ventilator ball was removed and is being replicated by Robinson Iron Co. of Alabama, which is the same company that is working on the capitol dome in Washington, D.C.
The entire restoration project is being overseen by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The lighthouse tower will remain closed until full restoration is expected to be completed by late summer of next year. Soon the historic and magnificent lens will again be able to shine its powerful beam of light out across the expanse of the powerful Pacific. Photos courtesy of Oregon Parks and Recreation.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2012 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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