NEW HAVEN--House hunting in New Haven now includes summertime boat rides!
On Tuesday, a group of people were ferried out to the Southwest Ledge, a lighthouse that sits about one mile off New Haven's shoreline. The lighthouse is one of three owned by the government that are up for sale to the highest bidder.
Southwest Ledge has three floors, but would be a massive undertaking for the eventual buyer; it needs a lot of cleaning and TLC. That's not deterring some who are interested though.
Casey Jordan, the president of a non-profit called Beacon Preservation, is one of those interested parties. She said she sees "a lighthouse in decent condition, compared to many that I've seen."
She said it's worth it in the end. "They need a lot of work," she said of repurposing lighthouses, "but you have to keep in mind 'what are you going to use it for?'" she said. Her group previously bought one in Maine, and she says that based on experience it will take three times as long and three times as much money as one would think to fix up the lighthouse.
And Southwest Ledge is more than just a lighthouse. It was the first of its kind in the world, featuring a circular base. That unique piece of design was done because of its cold New England location. "It was to make sure the ice would shift around the base of the structure, not undermine it as the ice shifted with the tides and the currents," Robert Zarnetske, with the U.S. General Services Administration, said.
Bidding opened in July at $25,000, but will remain open until only one serious bidder remains. A previous lighthouse for sale in Old Saybrook sold last year for $290,000.
"We just want people interested in maritime history, sailing, lights in general." Eric Jiusty, the lighthouse sales project manager, added.