If you've ever wanted to own a lighthouse, now may be your chance.
The federal government is auctioning off the Penfield Reef Lighthouse, located in Long Island Sound off of Bridgeport.
The property includes a 51-foot-tall octagonal lighthouse and a two-story 1,568 square foot keeper's quarters. It was built in 1874.
The lighthouse marks a submerged reef which extends southeast into the Sound from Fairfield Beach near the Fairfield Town Line. It is located about a mile from Bridgeport's Black Rock Harbor and is only accessible by boat.
The Penfield Reef Lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
It was weatherized in 2015 with several renovations, including a new roof, new hurricane-resistant windows, new stainless steel exterior doors, and repairs to the stone stairs, to name a few. Click here to see the full list of renovations.
Before bidding on the lighthouse, prospective owners should know there are some requirements that come along with ownership. The structure will remain a functioning lighthouse for navigational aid. That means a primary lighting system which flashes red every 6 seconds. There are also three horns that activate during foggy conditions.
The new owners will have to lease submerged land from the State of Connecticut.
“The Premises may be used only for park, recreation, education and cultural or historic preservation purposes and as the foundation for the lighthouse constructed thereon (the “Lighthouse”) consistent with the goals and policies of Section 22a-92 of the Connecticut General Statutes and the stipulations, herein, all uses being subject to the Lessee obtaining necessary State and Municipal permits and approvals, and subject to Lessee’s compliance with all laws, rules and regulations related to its operation. State approval may be withheld in the State’s sole and absolute discretion. No commercial uses will be permitted."
“The Premises shall be open for reasonable access to the general public on a frequency and in a manner approved by the State. A plan for providing such reasonable public access must be proposed in writing by the Lessee to the State no later than the first day of March of each year. After the first year of the Lease, such plan shall also include a summary of the dates, times, and numbers of visitors from the general public that accessed the Premises in the prior year. The State in its sole discretion shall determine if such plan constitutes reasonable public access. The Lessee shall not directly or indirectly limit or restrict access on the basis of residency. Any fees and other charges for the use or enjoyment of the Premises shall be approved by the State in writing prior to being placed in effect. Excepting United States Coast Guard inspections, the Lessee must be present for all public or invitee visitations to the lighthouse. All visitors or invitees entering the lighthouse must sign a waiver of liability and agree to hold the Lessee and the State of Connecticut harmless, prior to entering the lighthouse.”
The auction will take place at 12 p.m. CT on June 21 and is being run by the General Services Administration.
The minimum bid will be $100,000 and the bid increments will be $10,000. Those interested in bidding must register in advance and pay a $10,000 registration fee.