4 lighthouses the government is giving away for free

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Alligator lighthouse
credit: Snapper 68

So you wanna buy a lighthouse...

The Federal Government no longer wants these obsolete lighthouses in the Florida Keys – so they're giving them away.

Alright folks, it's time to ignite the brain's Escape Fantasy sector and start daydreaming about owning a little bit of history, because the government is giving away lighthouses again. Thanks to the brilliant National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, the country's obsolete lighthouses do not go gentle into that good night. Instead, they are given or sold to interested parties who can restore and maintain them. The act allows the government to first offer them to public bodies or nonprofit corporations at no cost. If a steward is not found through this process, then the General Services Administration (GSA) conducts a public sale of the light station.

In the years since the act was passed, the GSA has transferred 137 lighthouses to eligible entities – 79 have gone to public bodies, including nonprofits, through stewardship transfers, the other 58 were sold to members of the general public through auction.

We have covered these transfers and sales in previous years, because, well: Free historic lighthouses. This crop deviates from past offerings, however, in that all four up for transfer are of the "cast iron screw-pile tower" type. Meaning that they are awesome tower constructions that look a bit more Mad Max than seaside postcard.

The current offerings are part of a collection of offshore lighthouses built to mark the shallow waters of the Florida keys; their skeleton style was chosen to help resist hurricanes. Even so, all of them have keeper's quarters, so rest assured that one would have a place to rest assured.

Next page (and above): Alligator Reef Light, considered one of the Keys' best snorkeling spots >>

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