The Burnt Coat Light Station tower, though it looks sturdy and solid, has some serious maintenance issues. Rusting of the metal components has created cracks in the masonry joints. The metal components themselves need repair, and the masonry needs repointing and repainting.
The Town recently received a comprehensive report from Resurgence Engineering of Portland setting out a workplan for complete restoration of the tower. Professional preparation of the workplan was financed by grants from the Maine Department of Transportation (Small Harbor Improvement Program) and the Davis Family Foundation. Individual gifts made up the balance.
The Engineering Workplan breaks restoration of the tower into two phases. The first phase covers urgent work inside the tower to address leaks and stop deterioration, especially in the lantern and watch room. This phase will include lead paint abatement, improved ventilation and reglazing of the lantern windows.
The second phase requires scaffolding around the tower to rehabilitate the masonry and paint the exterior. It also includes replacement of the glass brick windows and replacement of the railings on the catwalk around the lantern.
When will the work get done?
With the Workplan in hand, we have applied again to the Small Harbor Improvement Program for a grant to help with the cost of the first phase of the tower restoration. Friends of the Swan’s Island Lighthouse (FOSIL) will help to raise funds for this work. If the grant application is successful, we expect the work will be done in spring 2014.