Hind Foundation Networking

Pigeon Point Light Station Rehabilitation

For California State Parks Foundation

In 2011, the Hind Foundation granted $175,000 to California State Parks to perform a comprehensive rehabilitation to the Pigeon Point Light Station, located in the Pigeon Point Light Station Historic Park (PPLSHP). Extending approximately 115 feet above ground level, Pigeon Point Light Station is one of the tallest lighthouses in the U.S. and provides a superb example of classic mid-nineteenth century American lighthouse architecture. Currently, cast iron failure and the resulting water intrusion into the building are causing it to be structurally unsound. Recent installations of tension cables around the cast iron brackets and belt courses are not adequate to stabilize conditions. Due to the complex composite iron and masonry construction system at the top of the Lighthouse, there are no simple interim measures available to stabilize the structure.

The full rehabilitation will include the dismantling, inspection, and restoration or replacement of most of the cast iron elements of the upper tower. The rehabilitation process will also repair and conserve the masonry and curtain wall elements of the tower and provide additional seismic reinforcing to the upper tower, the lower tower, and the Oil House. The updated structure, resulting from the Hind Foundation grant, will be in maintainable condition, and with a well-conceived program of cyclical maintenance should last another 100 years.

Noteworthy Results

  • Restoration of a Cultural Icon
    Designed by French architect Phineas F. Marston, the Point Light Station State is an excellent example of classic mid-19th century American lighthouse architecture. Lighthouses of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina and Saint Augustine in Florida share the same stunning architectural design as this 115-foot structure.
  • History Lesson
    Over 41,000 people visit PPLSHP each year, including more than 2,500 school children participating in educational programs. Last year, more than 11,000 people got a taste of what living at a lighthouse was like by spending the night in the adjoining youth hostel. With its proximity to the San Francisco Bay area, it is one of the most accessible light stations for a large segment of California’s population.

Area of Funding: Historical Landmark Restoration
Type of Funding: Standard Grant
Amount Funded: $175,000
Year Funded: 2011
Year Completed: 2011

About the Organization
California State Parks Foundation
50 Francisco Street, Suite 110
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 262-4400

Provides for the health, inspiration, and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.