Michigan’s iconic bright red Grand Haven Pier Lighthouses were all wrapped up this past summer as part of the first phase of a major restoration of the two lighthouses in a city known for its maritime history.
Most of this phase of the restoration, costing over $250,000, consisted of sandblasting and repainting. Although the lighthouses are now owned by the City of Grand Haven, the Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy, which manages the care of the lighthouses, led the movement to raise the money for the restoration. Part of their fundraising included the selling of commemorative bricks at $100 each and over 1300 bricks were sold.
So far they have raised $500,000 toward the full restoration of the lighthouses, with long range plans to open them to the public on a regular basis. Large crowds turned out when the outer lighthouse was opened this past summe; when people had a rare opportunity to go in and imagine what it must have looked like when it was full of equipment. No taxpayer money has been used toward the restoration, although the city will greatly benefit from it.
Grand Haven, on Michigan’s western shores on the eastern side of Lake Michigan, is a popular tourist destination and its beach is rated as one the top five in the United States. Designated as a Coast Guard City, it hosts the Annual Coast Guard Festival which draws people from all over the world. The Grand Haven Pier Lighthouses are among the most photographed in the state and dramatic winter photos of the towers covered in ice are extremely popular. (Photos by M. Cisneros.)
This story appeared in the
Sep/Oct 2013 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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