If your hermit dream-home fantasy includes the sound of waves and a foghorn ...
So you wanna buy a lighthouse? How about get one for free? The federal government has made a practice of unloading obsolete lighthouses – they’ve shed more than 100 of the iconic structures in the last decade and a half. And while these clearly aren't Passive Houses and may not be all that practical, there's a lot to be said for historic preservation and giving old structures new life. Not to mention the opportunity to live in a lighthouse!
Lighthouses listed on the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) site have been determined to be “excess to the needs of the United States Coast Guard.” First the government looks to transfer them for free to qualified entities – such as a non-profit, educational agency, or community development organization – for education, park, recreation, cultural, or historic preservation purposes.
But lighthouses that don’t draw any interested stewards – often because of inaccessibility (bonus!) – are put up for auction. So if you are part of an eligible group you can investigate getting a free lighthouse; or you can see which ones become available for auction, where they sell from 5 to 6 figures. One of these is listed at an initial bid of $15,000 with no bidders yet.
Following are some of the lovely lighthouses currently available (you can also sign up for emails alerts for new (old) lighthouses as they become available).
First up, Superior Harbor South Breakwater Light, the beauty pictured above and on the next page.