Restoring Canaveral Light – Brick by Brick!

The mission statement of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation is  “To Assist the 45th Space Wing in preserving, protecting, and interpreting the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and its historical significance to the Florida Space Coast, State of Florida, and our Nation.” The US Air Force owns and maintains Cape Canaveral Light, but the Foundation exists to be of assistance in its restoration and to share its remarkable history.

In many ways Cape Canaveral and the Lighthouse is a bridge between the age of exploration and exploration yet to come; a bridge between the sea and the stars!

On October 13th, 2012 I attended a gathering at the Canaveral Lighthouse with my father to celebrate the progress having been made on the restoration of this special and significant beacon. Although, we had visited the light by special permission a couple of years ago in order to photograph, I did not then have the opportunity to see the interior of the tower. Saturday, October 13th, could not have been a more perfect day to gather, discuss goals, walk the newly built Keeper’s Brick Paver Walkway, and climb!! I have to say right here that I was amazed that my 88 year old father was able to navigate the stairs better than I did!  The metal lighthouse is lined with brick and the winding stairs curl upwards around a center pole with no hand railing along the brick walls. Of course, it was probably because I was lugging my heavy camera!! Probably!!

Historic photograph from the early 1940’s showing the Keeper’s cottages and supporting structures. This is what the site will look like when the reconstruction goals are met.

Plans for the near future include reconstructing the three keeper’s cottages and two support buildings to restore the grounds as they once looked. The three cottages will be built in the same style in exactly the same sites in order to recreate the historic reality that once was. One cottage will be an education center telling the story of the lighthouse , of the keepers who lived and worked there, and of the rich early history of the cape.  The second dwelling will house a conference center and the third replica will have a gift shop and archeological display.  One fun way the Foundation is using to raise funds is through the purchase of a brick which would grace the new walkway. It could have your name or that of a loved one inscribed on it.

Diorama of the Canaveral Light grounds with reconstructed cottages meticulously rendered by George Holmes and Rebecca Horner! What was, will be again!

Detail of Keeper’s Cottage from the diorama rendering made by George Holmes and Rebecca Horner looking very much like the image from the 1940’s.

Here are some images from our beautiful day at the Cape Canaveral Light! The 45th Space Wing Public Affairs Office conducts public bus tours of features of the cape including a visit to the lighthouse, twice a week on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. These tours are free so when visiting the Space Coast come experience the Cape!

A beautiful day for visiting the stately beacon! The sweeping clouds and temperatures could not have been more perfect!

Pathway of Shells leads to the old oilhouse, brick walkway, and lighthouse

The tower is composed of metal plates with a brick lining. The first three levels were designed as living quarters, with living room, kitchen and bedrooms. However, during the summer months it was like living in an oven. Ultimately, exterior dwellings were constructed for the Keepers. This image shows a dining room setting.

Closet with dishes on the dining table level.

Porthole view of the Florida landscape.

Stairs leading up from the fifth level.

Looking down from fifth level.

Porthole View by the Outside Stairs

Exit via the stairs outside the tower.

Outside stairway, our way out after climbing to the fifth level. Visitors are reading the names on some of the bricks circling the base.

The brick my father purchased to support the restoration of the lighthouse. It is located in the circular area at the base of the tower. A fun and memorable way to support lighthouse restoration goals.

       For more information on tours, gatherings, and ways to help, click: Canaveral Light

~ by Judy on November 3, 2012.

9 Responses to “Restoring Canaveral Light – Brick by Brick!”

  1. Great photographs. I love old lighthouses.

    • Rebecca,
      Thank you for that! It was hard to select the pictures too since I am a nuts and bolts person and took pictures of those too!! Besides trials by mother nature and man these beacons have withstood, just the mechanical fabrication has so much interest too!!

  2. So wonderful… These lighthouses are just fascinating, and need to be preserved. Such an integral part of our history. I stayed in one overnight (in Wales) — spooky!

    • That would actually be very cool. I think St. Augustine light has a Halloween event at the lighthouse but don’t know if sleep overs are part of it!! Sleeping in the Canaveral Light living floors (in the winter!) would be an experience on its own merit but also give a feel for what it was like for the keepers who did reside inside the tower.

  3. Nice to see these beauties being restored. Your photos of the lighthouse are lovely!

    • It is a great thing to see. Funny how little a person can pay attention to the history of their region until getting interested in something, like a lighthouse. They are emblems of another time really but getting to experience them creates curiosity about the people who kept the lights lit and about the winds of war as well as nature which they outlasted.

      • I agree. Lighthouses are so fascinating, possibly because they seem like such an unusual and unlikely place to live — but also played such an important role. Thanks for a great post.

  4. […] Restoring Canaveral Light – Brick by Brick! […]

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