Florida’s famous Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse underwent some extensive restoration work this past May. During the project, the light in the lantern was turned off and the tower was closed for public climbing.
It seems that rusted areas on the cast iron lantern roof were deteriorating rapidly due to the natural weathering and needed to be repaired to preserve the integrity of the structure and to keep the tower and lantern waterproof, especially to protect the rare 1st order Fresnel lens that has been in operation in the lantern since 1860.
During the work, the historic lens was wrapped in a special encasement to protect it during the work. The team of experts who were assembled for the project included historic architect Ken Smith of Jacksonville, lens conservationist Joe Cocking from the Lighthouse Lamp Shop, metalsmith expert Alex Klahm from Architectural Metal and Design, and Anthony Houllis from Razorback LLC of Tarpon Springs.
The paint on the lantern roof was removed to bare metal so that repairs to the roof plates and seam could be done. This required encapsulating the old paint as it was being removed. Finally, the roof received a marine zinc primer and then coats of long lasting, high grade black paint. Additionally, other parts of the lantern were also painted. Repairs were made to the watch room door, and a safety hand rail was installed at the top of the spiral staircase for easier entry into the watch room.
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is managed by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2017 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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