Would you be interested in buying a house with panoramic views of Long Island Sound, moderately priced, solidly built, in a private location and, oh, for sale by the owner?
Well, the federal government is listing the Peck Ledge Lighthouse in Norwalk and Stratford Shoal Lighthouse for sale, according to a press release by the United States General Services Administration.
“Lighthouses are an important part of our maritime history in New England and throughout the nation. GSA is looking for passionate and capable new owners to help us ensure that these architectural treasures will be preserved without burdening taxpayers,” said Robert Zarnetske, GSA regional administrator for New England.
And don’t worry about someone else snapping them up. The Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield has been for sale off and on since 2007.
It might sound romantic to live in a lighthouse, but making one liveable is going to be an expensive proposition. And then there’s the issue of getting there. A driveway is obviously not an option.
Peck Ledge Light, established in 1906, stands at the northeast end of the Norwalk Islands about 1.5 nautical miles from the coast of Connecticut, according to the official listing on the U.S. General Services Administration website. There is no dock. It stands in seven feet of water and is accessible only by boat.
And the Stratford Shoal Light is so far from the shore that there has been debate on whether it belongs to New York or Connecticut.
Connecticut is home to 20 historic lighthouses, most built between 1800 and 1920. Some, like New Haven’s Five Mile Point Lighthouse, are owned by municipalities. Two are in private hands, including the Stamford Harbor Ledge Light.
The GSA will first seek an interested party — buyer isn’t the right word since the property would be conveyed for as little as $1 — at public agencies or nonprofits.
Although it’s a challenging task, people have bought lighthouses and turned them into seasonal homes, said Jeff Gales, executive director of the U.S. Lighthouse Society. “There are probably 10 or 15 a year that are deemed excess by the Coast Guard and sold through the GSA process,” Gales said. “But the Lighthouse Preservation Act requires that they first be offered to an entity that will maintain public access.”
The lighthouse at Stratford Shoal, in the middle of Long Island Sound off of the coast of Stratford. It is also callled Middle Ground Light.