The Admiraly Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey State Park will have some major renovation work done, the majority of it being to its exterior. 2017 File Photo/Whidbey News-Times

The Admiraly Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey State Park will have some major renovation work done, the majority of it being to its exterior. 2017 File Photo/Whidbey News-Times

Admiralty Head Lighthouse to get facelift

One of the most famous buildings on Whidbey Island is going to get gussied up, if everything goes as planned.

Alex McMurry, historic preservation planner for State Parks, said the state’s capital budget, which was finally passed last month, includes a little less than $200,000 for design work on a project to rehabilitate the Admiralty Head Lighthouse in Central Whidbey’s Fort Casey Park.

McMurry said State Parks originally asked for both the design and construction to be funded over two years at an estimated cost of $1.6 million, but the governor’s budget phases the project over four years.

The project is designed to preserve the lighthouse by fixing normal wear and tear that happens over the years in a soggy environment.

Jon Crimmons, manager of state parks in Central Whidbey, explained that the lighthouse, built in 1903, is made from brick covered by plaster.

Over time, water can get into the plaster and cause it to bubble up, exposing the brick to the elements.

“We’re hoping for as much of a historic preservation facelift as we can get,” he said.

McMurry said the department hopes to hire an architect with expertise on lighthouses to do the design work.

Most of the work is on the exterior and involves stucco and masonry. The chimney needs work, as does the metal railing in the lantern house.

“It involves a little bit of everything,” he said.

The lighthouse got a new roof, new windows and structural repairs about eight years ago, he said.

In addition to the lighthouse project, State Parks is doing design and construction work on the park office at Fort Casey. It will get a new roof, windows that are replicas of the originals and the original doors restored. The work will cost about $290,000.

The lighthouse was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers to replace the Red Bluff Lighthouse, a wooden structure built in 1861.

“The beacon, high on a bluff, 127 feet above sea level, was an important navigational aid, especially for sailing ships entering Admiralty Inlet from the Strait of Juan de Fuca,” according to HistoryLink.org.

Admiralty Head Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1922 but was recognized in 1990 by the Postal Service for a collection of five commemorative lighthouse stamps.

More in News

Man uninjured in rollover on icy Madrona Way

A 23-year-old man was uninjured after his Chevy pickup rolled over on… Continue reading

Class teaches disaster readiness

‘There’s no reason not to be prepared’

State lawmaker aims to improve recycling process

Many people feel a sense of accomplishment when they opt to recycle… Continue reading

Van driver accused of ramming pickup truck

The driver of a van is accused of chasing a down a… Continue reading

New building permit fees expected to reduce costs

The Board of Island County Commissioners is set to vote on building… Continue reading

Contributed photo — Erin Kelly was so appreciative of Marc Swenson’s efforts that she baked him a “Thank You” cake.
Volunteer firefighter saves neighbor’s home

A quick response by a local firefighter may have helped save a… Continue reading

Gifts from the Heart turns sweet 16

Clients at Gifts at the Heart Food Bank will be in for… Continue reading

Man arrested for pawning stolen student robotics club’s telescope

A man faces a felony charge after getting caught pawning a telescope… Continue reading

Whidbey News Group file photo
                                Blake Fountain was arrested by Island County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rob Davison after he burned down a Useless Bay Colony home and partially destroyed another in July 2017.
Man who burned down two homes pleads guilty to lesser charge

A man who started a fire that burned down two homes on… Continue reading

Most Read