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Friday, October 15, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
Discovery Park lighthouse now belongs to city
By Sara Jean Green
The news came almost two years after the city applied to the National Park Service for the transfer of ownership of the lighthouse, two early-20th century Cape Cod houses and a three-bay garage on a spit that juts into Shilshole Bay just west of the West Point wastewater-treatment plant.
The transfer of the 1881 West Point Light Station in Discovery Park came about as a result of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, which seeks to give former Coast Guard stations to organizations that can preserve them and keep them open to the public. In August, the first Washington lighthouse to change hands under the law was the Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, which was turned over to the Westport-South Beach Historical Society.
Nineteen groups including the city of Seattle expressed interest in owning the lighthouse in Discovery Park when it was first offered for public stewardship in late 2002. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced its decision to award the lighthouse, the two houses and the maintenance building to the city, according to a news release issued by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickel's office.
Earlier this year, the City Council approved $600,000 for structural, roofing and other repairs to the lighthouse, using money from the Shoreline Park Improvement Fund, which was created to offset the expansion of the West Point treatment plant, according to the release. The Seattle Parks Department has proposed opening the lighthouse to the public for 600 hours a year for environmental education, tours and other programs.
It is estimated that annual maintenance of the property will cost $30,000 to $40,000.
Use of the lighthouse property a state and national historic site with a saltwater shoreline and sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains, downtown Seattle and Shilshole Marina is seen as a way to promote environmental stewardship in the Puget Sound area.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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