New Haven, CT – The restoration of ten lighting fixtures from the Bodie Island Lighthouse has begun. Built in 1872 on the isolated Body’s Island of North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore, The Bodie Island Lighthouse is one of the most classic settings of American light stations. The structure has a significant history; having been destroyed and rebuilt twice, once by retreating Confederate troops in 1861 who feared the lighthouse could be used as a Union observation post during the Civil War.
The current Bodie Island Lighthouse was built in the model of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It stands 156 feet tall and is located on the Roanoke Sound side of the first island that is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and is one of the very few lighthouses that feature an active 1st order Fresnel lens.
The corrosive conditions of the seashore have resulted in extensive deterioration of the structure, including ten historic lighting fixtures of the lighthouse’s interior. As a part of a major restoration project intended to restore and preserve the structural integrity of the lighthouse, Grand Light was asked to restore seven fixtures from the interior of the structure as well as three fixtures from the nearby Oil House.
The seven lighting fixtures from the interior of the lighthouse were manufactured by Russell & Stoll and constructed in cast iron with a water tight rating. The fixtures had suffered extensive deterioration of the original finish.
To restore the fixtures, all cast iron components will be sandblasted to remove rust and previous coatings of paint, and to achieve a clean, uniform surface. They will then be primed and given two coats of marine-grade silver paint, with two protective top-coats of incralac clear lacquer to prevent future corrosion. New water-tight gaskets will be fabricated and installed upon reassembly.
The adjacent Oil House featured three porcelain RLM-style pendant lighting fixtures, which were also in dire need of restoration. To restore the fixtures, the metal components are being removed and sandblasted. The porcelain reflectors will be cleaned and touched up as needed. While some components will be replaced, the porcelain sockets will be cleaned and rebuilt.
All lighting fixtures will be rewired with UL listed components and tested in accordance with UL standards.
Grand Light’s portion of the restoration work is expected to be completed in approximately one week’s time. Once the lighthouse is fully restored by the end of 2010, visitors will be able to view the newly restored lighting fixtures as they climb the spiral staircase for the first time in decades.
Photos and additional updates on the progress of the restoration will be posted as the project continues.
About Grand Light:
Grand Light has restored, replicated and manufactured custom lighting fixtures at every scale, including various projects at Yale University, Minute Man National Historical Park, the Lincoln Square Theater in Decatur, IL., The Otesaga Resort and Hotel in Cooperstown, NY., The Shubert Theater in New Haven, CT., and other prestigious projects nation wide.
Located at 580 Grand Avenue, New Haven, Conn., Grand Light has been serving the interior and exterior lighting needs of homeowners and professionals since 1929.