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Ribboncutting Monday for restored lighthouse

Special to the Times

On Monday, Feb. 1 at noon, the St. George Lighthouse Association (SGLA) along with the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand re-opening of the Cape St. George Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse has been closed for the month of January to complete a significant restoration project - the largest restoration project since the lighthouse was originally reconstructed at the center of St. George Island in 2008.

Two men sand-blasting the St. George Island lighthouse earlier this month.

The lantern room cage was suffering with extensive rust and cracked glass panes and the masonry tower was in need of some TLC. Specialized contractors mitigated the lantern room cage of rust and painted the cage with a three-step industrial coating.

Additionally, the masonry tower was cleaned and painted and all the glass windows in the lantern room were replaced, offering a clear panoramic view of the Island.

Amy Hodson, SGLA’s executive director, said that after exhaustive research, speaking with experts, and a thorough bidding process, Razorback, LLC out of Tarpon Springs, was selected to make the repairs. 

The work by Razorback, whose president is Anthony Houllis, a former Florida State football player, brought years of expertise in restoration of lighthouses and other historic structures to the task of ensuring “our lighthouse is sound, safe, and better protected from the elements for years to come,” she said.

A portion of the nearly $100,000 cost of the repairs was covered by a $24,000 grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association, with perhaps an additional $10,000 to further offset the costs.

“Our nonprofit organization is self-funding the remainder,” Hodson said. “2020 has been a crazy year and with the challenges associated with COVID-19 our organization has suffered significant financial losses from which it will take considerable time to recover.”

The fundraising campaign called “Keep the Light Shining Bright” continues to raise funds to help offset the costs of the repairs.

“We hope you will join us to celebrate the re-opening of this St. George Island landmark,” Hodson said.

SGLA is a non-profit Florida corporation organized to preserve, maintain and promote the Cape St. George Lighthouse. Funds raised by SGLA are used for the on-going maintenance and enhancement of the Lighthouse, the Keeper’s House and Lighthouse Park.

For more information, please visit our website at www.stgeorgelight.org