I would like to respond to the April 15 editorial titled “ Honk if you love lighthouses.”
Save the Light, Inc., certainly loves lighthouses and the Morris Island Lighthouse in particular as we have now been taking care of it for 14 years, since the date we purchased it and subsequently gave it free and clear to the state of South Carolina.
By leasing it back from the state for 99 years, we are committed to being the caretaker and lover of this lighthouse for all the citizens of our state. Our goal has been and always will be to stabilize it, restore it and keep it as a reminder of our heritage for the future.
We are not ready to take bids this spring, as the editorial stated, for painting and for the restoration of the ironworks, windows and glass in the lantern room. While we would love to get this work under way, we have not raised sufficient capital to begin the restoration phase of our project. We are in the process of analyzing costs to do this work and will be doing this over the next few months, as we take several experts out to visit it for their inspection.
The lighthouse has been stabilized, as evidenced by the work in 2008 and again in 2010, when a cofferdam was installed, followed by the installation of micro-piles under the foundation of the lighthouse. Both of these efforts, called Phase I and Phase II, were very successful and have actually saved the lighthouse from falling over into the ocean. The total expenditure for these two phases totaled $5 million.
We must continue raising money by all means possible so that we can accomplish Phase III, the final phase, and call the project completed. We welcome local sponsors who will work with us to contribute toward this effort so that our progress can move faster toward completion. We have many companies who are willing to do the work; however, we are not prepared to move forward without the funding in place.
Membership in Save the Light helps us toward our goals, as do contributions and donations.
We would welcome a capital sponsor who could step up to the plate and help us move this effort forward.
Visit us at www.savethelight.org for all the details and a great history of the Morris Island Lighthouse.
Chairman, Save the Light, Inc.
Sea Eagle Watch