ICC-Commonwealth, an expert in the restoration and preservation of historic structures, returned to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse to complete the long-awaited work.
Last spring, ICC came to Corolla to restore the iron belt lower courses of the 145-year-old headlight and to remove the cast iron parts of the roof support cornice system for a redesign. The workers left in March of the same year with the cornice pieces, brackets and headers that were in better condition (on the southwest side of the lighthouse) and sent them to a foundry in Richmond. They planned to return within six weeks with the original and newly remelted parts to replace and / or repair the system that connects the copper roof to the lantern glass. As COVID-19 began to spread, ICC’s return – and the entire project – was delayed.
ICC returned in July and started work on the ledge. They will replace the 16 pieces of roof cornice and ladder bars, 10 of the brackets and seven of the headers. Next, they will finalize repairs to the lantern wall that surrounds the original first-rate Fresnel lens of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse by insulating the dissimilar metals around the glass windows. In years past, they only insulated metals around windows that had cracked from rust caused by iron hitting bronze; this year they will finish the job.
Ahead of ICC’s return, Outer Banks environmentalists added another project to its contract: repairing the cast iron studs of the tower’s five large windows, replacing the rusty wrought-iron slats of the first window with stainless steel, isolate dissimilar metals and repair wooden window frames. .
Sponge Jet technology, a reusable abrasive surface preparation system, will be used to remove rust and paint from original roof parts and window slats.
ICC-Commonwealth (then International Chimney Corporation) is renowned for having successfully relocated the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in 1999. This is its fourth major project at Currituck Beach Lighthouse.
Outer Banks Conservationists (OBC) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that owns and operates the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. This restoration project is funded in part by the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation, the United States Lighthouse Society, the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society and supporters of the OBC.
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse was first lit on December 1, 1875; it illuminated the remaining “dark space” between the Cape Henry and Bodie Island lighthouses. The lighthouse is maintained as an active aid to navigation today, seen up to 18 nautical miles offshore. It is open to the public for rock climbing between mid-March and December 1 of each year. In addition to the 162-foot-high brick-and-mortar tower, visitors can experience the mid-19e Century Lighthouse complex, which includes the 1876 Double Keeper’s House, the smaller Little Keeper’s House (now a museum shop), warehouse, unique elliptical brick path, and on-site two-person restrooms – all fully restored and maintained by OBC. Follow restoration updates and learn more about the site’s history on Currituck Beach Lighthouse social media and on www.obcin.org.
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