A Collaborative Effort

The project to restore the tower and reopen it for public viewing is multi-organizational one.  California State Parks, as the property owner, is and will be involved with every aspect of the restoration effort.  However, funding for a major project with only state funds is not normally feasible.  The California State Park Foundation raised the initial money that helped stabilize the structure, prepare the construction drawings, and protect the structure from further damage by replacing and refurbishing many windows and doors throughout the tower. As the local cooperating association, Coastside State Parks Association stepped up to help with fund-raising as well as get smaller projects completed thereby raising the profile of this significant project.

Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park relies upon its collaborative relationships with its nonprofit partners, including Coastside State Parks Association, California State Parks Foundation and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. These organizations provide support for the tower restoration, the operation of the park and the development of visitor-serving programs and amenities.

Scope of Work

Damage to the cast iron components of the tower led to its closure for safety reason in 2001 Photo: Courtesy of California State Park Foundation

The contractors will refurbish or replace all the ironwork throughout the building. Masonry elements will also be repaired or replaced as needed. A major focus of the project will be the upper belt course or cast-iron ring where two large pieces broke away in late 2001, compromising the building's structural integrity. View details of the Restoration Plan below.

The Fresnel Lens

The Fresnel lens, built in Paris, consists of 1,009 prisms and was the most powerful of its time.

The Fresnel lens, with its 1,009 delicate glass elements, was removed from the tower in 2011 and is now on display in its temporary home in the Fog Signal Building. The lens' removal was the first step in the restoration project of the tower.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Restoration Plan

The Lantern Room The roof and copper ventilation ball will be repaired and repainted.  The glass curtain walls will be repaired and resealed, and the metal elements will be repainted.

Upper Tower Decks and Railings The corroded deck elements and railings will be removed and replaced to match the original cast iron details.

Upper Tower Belt Course Continuing corrosion of cast iron elements on the upper belt course make repair of the upper tower the most critical portion of the project.  Cast iron and masonry elements will be restored or replaced based on condition, and seismic reinforcing will be added.

Interior and Exterior Ironwork Windows, stairs, landings and corroded exterior cast iron elements at the base of the tower will be repaired or replaced as needed.  Layers of old paint coatings will be removed, and a new paint system will be applied to protect the building from the extreme maritime environment.

Oil House Walls and chimneys will be seismically strengthened, and deteriorated building materials will be repaired or replaced.


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