At Inhabitat, we cover all kinds of unique abodes for unconventional humans. Tiny homes, hobbit holes, treehouses to satisfy even the most imaginative inner child… but perhaps those aren’t quite right for you. If you crave the solitude of the sea, a lighthouse home may be what your soul is seeking. The federal government is in the business of giving away (for free!) historic but unused lighthouses to non-profit, community development or educational organizations. The lighthouses that can not find a loving non-profit family to care for them are auctioned off to the highest bidder for what can be a bargain.
Available lighthouses are listed on the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) website, along with additional unused buildings and land. Interested buyers can also sign up for e-mail updates to stay aware of any new listings that may become available. One lighthouse currently on the market is the Penfield Reef Lighthouse, located in western Long Island Sound off the coast of Fairfield, Connecticut. The structure is centered on an 51-foot tall octagonal tower that connects to a square two-story keeper’s quarters that is built from granite and timber.
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Penfield Reefer Lighthouse was built in the 1870s after sailors had complained of frequently hitting rocks in the nearby Penfield Reef. After over a century of service, Penfield Reef Lighthouse was made available for adoption in 2005. Powered by the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, the GSA pursued a responsible new owner that would preserve the historic site. This plan was put on hold when Hurricane Sandy slammed into Penfield Reef in 2012. Once again, the United States Congress saved the day. The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 included $50 million for the Historic Preservation Fund, which was used to restore the lighthouse to its former glory.
Those interested in acquiring this beautiful 19th century piece can find it here.
Images via GSA/Jeremy D’Entremont and Bruce Guenter