The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is using crowd funding site to raise $50,000 needed for critical preservation work on the historic 1874 tower.

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. –St. Augustine’s most iconic landmark, the 165 foot-tall lighthouse tower, will begin a massive restoration project to save the 1874 structure on April 6th. The nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is undertaking a head-to-toe restoration project to repair damage to the brick and metal structure. To help fund the endeavor, the nonprofit museum will be launching an indiegogo campaign ( on April 2nd with a goal to raise $50,000.

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Rust, as depicted here outside the watchroom, is a serious threat to the 1874 iron lantern atop the tower. Left untreated, it could destroy the tower.

This is really critical work that needs to be done to preserve the lighthouse and its legacy for future generations,” said Executive Director Kathy A. Fleming. “The metal repair work and new paint will help protect the brick, iron and copper surfaces of the tower from the salt air and hot sun. Preservation is not something that happens just once. Maintaining a historic structure like the lighthouse requires continuous work. We want to build upon the initial restoration of the Junior Service League and keep the tower standing strong and looking beautiful for years to come.”

Crews will begin the preservation project on Monday, April 6th, by sandblasting the iron and copper lantern on top of the tower to remove paint and rust blooms. After performing repairs to the metal, the lantern will receive a fresh coat of red paint.

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Humid conditions are favorable for mold growth on the brick masonry of the tower, which can cause significant damage to the lighthouse in the long run.

Following the lantern work, the project will focus on mold abatement for the masonry work before the black and white stripes are repainted. The new paint will not only improve the tower’s appearance, but protect the surfaces from wear and tear.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $280,000. With support from local and state representatives, the museum has secured $200,000 in state grants and appropriations. This includes Historic Preservation Grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

In order to complete the project, however, the museum is looking to the St. Augustine community for additional support through a crowd funding project on Donation levels range from $10 to $10,000, with different reward perks designated for each level including private ghost tours and exclusive access to the tower’s lens room.

Guy HarveyThe museum has also partnered with artist Guy Harvey to create a limited edition T-shirt for contributions at the $100 level. Harvey is a lighthouse supporter who visited the museum in 2013.

Anyone interested in donating to assist with the campaign can visit any time over the next 30 days to make a contribution and claim their perks. St. Augustine residents can also keep an eye out for paint buckets located in select community businesses where donations will be accepted as well.

During the first phase of the project (April 6th – 10th) public access to the tower will be restricted. Guests will instead have the opportunity to take a guided Lost Ships or Behind the Scenes tour free with general admission. The exclusive tours, which provide access to archaeology conservation areas normally off-limits to the public, will be offered every hour from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“We really appreciate the support that St. Augustine has shown us through the years,” said Fleming. “This lighthouse belongs to all of us and we are so proud to work together with the community to keep the legacy of our Nation’s Oldest Port shining bright.”



A pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for over 140 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest Port. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)3 non-profit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is on a mission to preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest Port sm as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.