Penfield Reef Lighthouse to go up for auction for third time
A local historic beacon will be going up for auction for the third time, the U.S. General Service Administration says.
The government has been trying to sell the Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Long Island Sound for more than a decade.
The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes a 51-foot-tall structure attached to a two-story keeper's quarters. It marks the submerged reef that extends southeast form Fairfield Beach and sits about a mile from Bridgeport's Black Rock Harbor.
"It was built in 1874, so it's been standing a long time," says U.S. General Service Administration Branch Chief Barbara Salfity.
It can only be accessed by boat. Now, the lighthouse is headed to the auction block.
"The Coast Guard has determined it to be excess to the needs of the government, and we're excited to be able to offer it to the public to somebody who really is excited about maritime history and preservation of lighthouses," Salfity says.
The auction starts Monday at 1 p.m., but those interested have to register in advance and put down a $10,000 registration deposit. Bidding starts at $100,000 and increases in $10,000 increments.
There are some strings attached to owning the lighthouse.
"The requirements in our agreement is that it does get made to - maintained into a historic standard," says Salfity.
Any new owner must allow the light and foghorn to continue to operate - something the Coast Guard will retain control over. As for turning Penfield into a home or tourist attraction, all uses will have to get approval from the state since the lighthouse is on submerged land owned by Connecticut.
"We're hoping we find the right buyer to match this unique history," says Salfity.
The GSA-registered bidders will have the opportunity to go out and look at the lighthouse.
The exterior was restored in 2015 after serious damage from Superstorm Sandy.