The preservation planning for the lighthouse is divided into two phases. The Phase I planning focuses on the immediate need to develop a plan to protect the lighthouse from continued storm damage. The Phase II planning involves the restoration work the lighthouse structure requires. An architectural conservation study on the Phase II planning is nearing completion.
The situation today is critical, and experts agree that we could lose the structure unless protective measures are not taken soon. A three-year study by the Corps of Engineers focused on using dredge material to recreate a part of the lighthouse island and stabilize the foundation. Although the concept has been used successfully in Maryland, the Corps’ study concluded that any effort to recreate a part of the New Point Island was infeasible because of the costs and other factors.
Following the Corps study, we contracted with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) to develop a plan to protect the lighthouse. The completed plan, when implemented, will protect the structure from a 100-year storm surge. In addition, Phase I planning includes construction of a new access pier and a 20 ft-wide pedestrian walkway around the lighthouse.
Construction plans have been completed, permits have been approved, and the project will begin as funding is available.
Ivan Myjer of Building & Monument Conservation in Arlington, MA, is providing the research study. Mr. Myjer has extensive experience in the preservation of historic sandstone buildings. When the study is completed, an engineering plan will be developed that will outline the restoration work required on the lighthouse. The building appears to be sound, but we do anticipate that extensive preservation work will be required on the sandstone walls (interior and exterior), ironwork, windows, doors, and to the lantern. When completed, the conservation study will be posted on this web site. In addition, Phase II planning includes the following:
Design and installation of a security system to help protect the structure from vandalism.
Development of programs to bring visitors to the lighthouse. Interpretive planning will include educational experiences for adults and students about the history of lighthouses and the Chesapeake Bay.
Creation of an endowment fund that will provide funds annually for the maintenance required to preserve the lighthouse.