As we reported in December 2023, the contract to restore Pigeon Point Lighthouse was signed between Sustainable Group, Inc. of Moraga, CA and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).  CSPA board members recently met with representatives of both Sustainable Group and their subcontractor, ICC Commonwealth of New York, to learn about the early stages of this 2-year long project. You can be sure we will be making frequent updates to CSPA supporters and the public as this exciting process moves forward.

Project started last last year

Contractor mobilization officially began on December 21, 2023. Temporary fencing was expanded to include the picnic area with construction equipment and materials arriving every few days. Visible construction began with the erection of ‘bracket scaffolding’ around the top of the tower. If you have recently visited the lighthouse, you will have noticed the installed walkway just below the ‘gallery.’ This novel form of scaffolding braces itself on the neck of the tower without the need for full-body coverage of the lighthouse. It was installed the week of February 14 during a window of fair weather. Members of the restoration team explained that while traditional scaffolding will be used when work begins on the oil house and offices at ground level, they will continue to use bracket scaffolding on the actual tower. This is good news as it means the lighthouse will remain visible during the work.

While it might look like there is little progress on the exterior, there has been plenty of ‘behind the scenes’ work done. Each section of the restoration plan has to be detailed and submitted for approval to the State’s DPR Northern Service Center where the construction manager, architects, and contract specialists are located. Multiple sections of the restoration plan are submitted together as quickly as possible so that work may continue if one section of the plan is delayed for any reason.


Photo credit: J Parry CA State Parks

"Bracket scaffolding" being installed by contractors Sustainable Group and ICC-Commonwealth.


Beacon to be darkened during restoration

Several of the heavy cast iron railing pieces around the gallery will need to be removed to allow for refurbishment or replacement. As this is where the current LED signal is mounted, the light will soon be turned off and removed for the duration of the project.  

Much of the park is open during restoration

Many parts of the park remain open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset during the construction process. The visitor center and museum in the fog signal building and the park store will remain open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday thru Monday and the Pigeon Point hostel will continue to welcome guests. The small museum in the kerosene bunker will be closed for the duration of construction. Additionally, the picnic tables have been moved to the Whaler's Cove area to make room for staging construction equipment and material. Signage will be posted on the construction enclosure fence describing what is happening. 

More work to be done

While this massive restoration project will return the lighthouse to it’s former glory, there are many more related — and unfunded — projects that will need to be considered to fully improve the visitor experience and allow the light station property to enjoyed safely for decades to come. These include:

  • Interpretive exhibits inside the base of the tower and the Keeper’s office
  • Restoration of the pedestal and rotating chariot for the first order Fresnel lens
  • A lens replica in the Fog Signal Building when the original lens returns to the tower
  • An improved driveway from the parking lot to Fog Signal Building
  • Pathways around the tower
  • Picket fencing around ocean side of tower
  • Observation deck replacement
  • Self-guided tour improvements
  • New flag pole to replace pole damaged during last year’s storms
  • Restroom, parking and traffic flow improvements


How you can help!

  • Volunteer as a docent at the park. With thousands of visitors each day, we will need additional volunteers to greet visitors and interpret the history of the park, the local marine life and the restoration project. Please reach out to Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth at         
  • Help with a project! Do any of the projects above sound interesting to you?  Do you or anyone you know have skills that could help us, and State Parks, move these forward? If so, please reach out to us at
  • Fundraising. If you can help us raise the funds to complete these additional projects or spread the word about the work we are doing, or just would like to donate, we’d love to talk! Please reach out to us at

CSPA board members and California State Park’s staff are very optimistic about the restoration process at Pigeon Point.  The Sustainable Group and ICC Commonwealth have worked on nearly one hundred lighthouses, including some built to the same blueprint: Bodie Island and Currituck Beach in North Carolina and Yaquina Head in Oregon. While there will no doubt be unexpected issues ahead, we are confident that these very experienced contractors are up for the challenge. Stay tuned for frequent updates about the process, or, even better, visit the lighthouse and see for yourself!