Thursday, May 17, 2007

Handyman special

Looking to relocate? Last Saturday's Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the U.S. government, in a cost-cutting move, is looking to unload the Cleveland East Pierhead Light (pictured here from boatnerd.com) -- for free -- if it can find the right owner.

The old light is perched at the end of a long breakwall at the eastern boundary of Cleveland Harbor. Along with its companion, the West Pierhead Light (which is itself beginning to develop a slight lean due to a crumbling foundation), it has been guiding mariners into the harbour for almost a century. (The photo below, also from boatnerd.com, is of the West Pierhead Light.)

Both were opened in 1911 when lake shipping, mainly due to the rise of large steam-powered vessels, was booming. And gritty old Cleveland, an industrial hotbed, boasted one of the busiest harbours on the Great Lakes.

Today, the Cleveland Landmarks Commission is trying to get landmark status for the old lights, but even if it's attained, according to the Plain Dealer, it's not clear whether Cleveland will be able to assist in preserving the old structures because they are not technically within city limits.

Sadly, there is not much to tempt the would-be owner at the East Pierhead Light. She's accessible only by boat, and is fully exposed to Lake Erie's legendary storms, with nothing to protect her from their ferocious winds.

So you can bet your home insurance premiums will go up. The good news? The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to maintain the solar powered beacon up top ... at no charge.

To read the full Plain Dealer story, click here.

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