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CHNS staff seeks comments on preserving Ocracoke Light Station

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is seeking site preservation ideas for the Ocracoke Light Station.

The comment period is open through the entire day May 28, 2021.

The national seashore’s staff has proposed four options:

– Repair storm damage and preserve site as it is.

– Repair storm damage, replace existing shotcrete at lighthouse with historic parge coat, elevate all structures except the lighthouse.

– Rehabilitate to 1823 Site by removing the Keeper’s Quarters 1929 addition and restoring or rehabilitating the Keeper’s Quarters using as many original features (e.g., bricks) from the house as possible; restoring or rehabilitating the Light Station structures and site to the 1823-1854 period of interpretation; and elevating all structures, except the lighthouse. Restoration or rehabilitation to the 1823-1854 Period of Interpretation would include replacing existing shotcrete at lighthouse with historic parge coat and exposing original stone foundation at lighthouse; replacing existing metal spiral stair case with historically accurate wood staircase; and removing other structures except for the 1823 privy.

– Relocating the lighthouse and the Keeper’s Quarters to a higher elevation, more storm- and flood- resistant location on Ocracoke Island.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore planning website states “buildings associated with the Ocracoke Light Station complex include the Double Keepers’ Quarters, carpenter’s shop, store house, cisterns, privy, oil house, generator house and lighthouse.

“The Ocracoke Lighthouse was built in 1823 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It is the oldest functioning lighthouse in North Carolina and the second oldest lighthouse still in service in the United States.”

From 2017 through 2019, the Ocracoke Light Station was damaged by Hurricanes Matthew, Florence and Dorian.

For additional information and to comment, go to parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=96021.

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