Battered by time and last winter’s fierce Lake Erie gales, the South Buffalo Lighthouse in Buffalo, New York has gotten a much-needed facelift this summer during a new phase of a long restoration project.
Now owned by the Buffalo Lighthouse Association, the light—more formally known as the Buffalo Harbor South Entrance Light—was automated in 1962 and was eventually replaced by a solar pole light. Left to the elements, it deteriorated badly.
The Buffalo Lighthouse Association now has an estimated $970,000 restoration project under way, and this year’s work brought the total spent so far to about $380,000. While much of the work is structural, IC Commonwealth crews also spruced things up with the first coat of paint on the tower in at least 57 years.
The breakwater station was built in 1903 to guide ore ships through a new south entrance to the harbor and into the docks of a massive new steel plant, which eventually became Bethlehem Steel. Of even more historical significance than the lighthouse, the station served as the fog signal testing facility for all of the Great Lakes, got the lakes’ first radio station when the Marconi Corporation erected a spark-gap transmitter tower, and later had the first radio-beacon on the lakes.
This story appeared in the
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