The nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum recently finished a $280,000 restoration project with help from state funds, grants and a crowd-funding partnership with Dr. Guy Harvey.

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. – St. Augustine’s most iconic landmark is looking brighter than ever following the completion of a three month, $280,000 preservation project to restore and protect the St. Augustine Lighthouse. State grants and appropriations, a grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association and crowd funding fueled by a limited edition Guy Harvey T-shirt helped the nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum cover the professional labor and over 200 gallons of paint needed to give the Lighthouse its first facelift in a decade.

“Without the support of our state government representatives, the Florida Lighthouse Association and, of course, our fantastic St. Augustine community, we would not have been able to complete this critical restoration project,” said Executive Director Kathy A. Fleming. “We’re also very appreciative of Dr. Harvey and his team at the Guy Harvey Foundation for putting together a great-looking T-shirt design for the campaign!”

TShirt DesignHarvey, a marine biologist known for his nautical paintings of marine life, created a limited edition T-shirt design featuring the iconic lighthouse tower accented by tall ship silhouettes and a yellow fin tuna. The limited edition shirt was made available through the campaign for donors who gave at the $100 contribution level through the crowd funding website

In total, the Lighthouse raised $12,230 toward the restoration project from the online campaign.  Paint cans were also placed at local businesses around St. Augustine which, combined with extra donations on site and a fall appeal campaign, totaled an additional $13,566.

The Florida Lighthouse Association gave the St. Augustine Lighthouse a grant for $25,000 toward the project. The nonprofit FLA uses membership contributions, additional donations and funds from the official Florida specialty license plate sales to support the 30 remaining lighthouses in the Sunshine State.

These funds helped close the gap between the $280,000 needed for the project and the $200,000 provided by the State of Florida including Historic Preservation Grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources at the Florida Department of State.

The preservation project officially began this April with help from Razorback, a contractor based in Tarpon Springs, Fla. The professional crew sandblasted the iron work at the top of the 1874 tower with an environmentally friendly powder made from pecan shells and other organic materials.

Once rust and old paint were removed, historic architectural metal expert Alex Klahm performed critical repairs to the tower’s ironwork, including two rows of tiny screens in the vent ball on the very top of the 165 ft. tall tower. After Klahm’s work concluded, five coats of paint were added to the lantern, totaling just over 122 gallons.

Additional work on the masonry of the tower removed dangerous mold blooms threatening the structure’s 1.5 million bricks, which then received 80 gallons of black and white paint in two coats.


“We are continuing along the path laid before us by the Junior Service League’s original restoration of the lighthouse to ensure that future generations will be able to experience the history of the light station and its important role in St. Augustine’s maritime past.” said Fleming. “We should all take pride in the work we’ve done as a community to preserve the historic structures that make St. Augustine so unique, including the Lighthouse.”

In addition to serving more than 200,000 visitors a year, the museum also reaches 43,000 school-age children annually. Summer camps, school group programs and an underwater archaeological field school turn the light station into a hands-on classroom for students from all over the world to experience maritime heritage, culture and history.

For more information about tickets, museum memberships and educational programs, call (904) 829-0745 or visit



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 PortSM. 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.