Jupiter proposing a $17,000 donation toward lighthouse repairs


Highlights

Tourists are drawn to Jupiter lighthouse, say supporters

Lighthouse built in 1860 needs regular repairs

A donation from Jupiter to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse of $17,000 — bringing the total this year to $22,000 — is scheduled for a vote at Tuesday’s town council meeting.

The contributions would go toward about $150,000 in renovations being done on the lighthouse, first lit in 1860. The work includes painting, roof repairs, structural improvements and updates to the Fresnel lenses that refract light from the top of the 108-foot lighthouse.

The light is dark during construction. Tours to climb the 105 steps to the top of the lighthouse are suspended until the work is done. The lighthouse museum is open during construction.

Reopening of the lighthouse is scheduled for the end of May or early June.

The investment is worthwhile to Jupiter residents, said Jamie Stuve, the president and CEO of the Loxahatchee River Historical Society, which oversees and maintains the lighthouse, museum and other historical buildings on the north side of the Jupiter Inlet.

The lighthouse and museum annually draw about 80,000 people — about half from outside Florida — who stay at local hotels, rent watercraft, shop at stores and eat at restaurants. The lighthouse, the town’s logo, is on some Jupiter town vehicles and business cards of town officials.

“The lighthouse is the identity of the town. It binds the community,” said Stuve.

The town council approved awarding $5,000 for lighthouse repairs on April 20.

Preventing more damage before hurricane season begins June 1 is why the work is being done now, said Kathleen Glover, assistant director of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum.

“Water intrusion is a huge problem. That’s the urgency in getting the work done now. We can’t wait,” said Glover.

During the repairs, visitors can view the exhibit Keeping the Light at Jupiter Inlet: Adventures in the Lives of Lighthouse Keepers, in the Lighthouse Keepers Workshop. Admission prices are reduced during the restoration.

Closing the lighthouse, which is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and leased to the museum, is not unusual. There was a 16-day shutdown last year for repairs. The museum is required to maintain the lighthouse.

The Loxahatchee River Historical Society has been awarded grants and donations toward the $152,000 project. These include $40,000 from the Bureau of Land Management, $25,400 from the Loxahatchee Guild, $6,000 from individual donations and a pending $30,000 grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association.

For information, contact Belle Forino, development director, at 561-747-8380, ext. 107 or go to jupiterlighthouse.org.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

JUST IN: Woman sells fentanyl as heroin, faces attempted murder charge
JUST IN: Woman sells fentanyl as heroin, faces attempted murder charge

A Fort Pierce woman is facing an attempted murder charge after she sold fentanyl to a man who then overdosed, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. After the man collapsed in front of her, Rebecca Lindsey Miggins allegedly left the hotel room they were in without either assisting the man or calling for help. Miggins, 32, allegedly...
PHOTOS: Car careens into Florida pawn shop during crash
PHOTOS: Car careens into Florida pawn shop during crash

A car crash sent a vehicle careening into a nearby pawn shop on Tuesday morning. The crash, which happened at an intersection in Margate, sent a car into the front of a pawn shop after colliding with a minivan, according to WPLG. Photographs posted on Facebook show the heavily damaged car resting against the front wall of the pawn shop near Coconut...
Police: Thief uses forklift to steal ATM from Florida bank
Police: Thief uses forklift to steal ATM from Florida bank

Authorities are searching for a suspect who they say stole an ATM machine using a forklift taken from a nearby construction site.  Hialeah police say that someone removed the ATM from its foundation at a Bank of American branch across the street from the work site, according to WPLG. The theft occurred around 3 a.m. Tuesday. The ATM was found...
JUST IN: Powerball jumps to $700 million
JUST IN: Powerball jumps to $700 million

Go buy your tickets! Powerball jackpot has climbed to a grand prize of $700 million, and is now the largest jackpot in the country and the second largest in the game’s history.  The drawing will take place at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday. The lucky winners can decide to get paid in 30 annual installments, or take a lump-sum cash payment of...
NEW: 5 students hospitalized after school van crashes, flips on first day 
NEW: 5 students hospitalized after school van crashes, flips on first day 

A van filled with students overturned in Miami on Monday following a crash that sent several teens to the hospital. The students, who attend the Terra Environmental Research Institute, were on the way home from their first day of school when the van was hit by a white Nissan Sentra, CBS4 reported.  The Happy Kids Transportation van flipped...
More Stories