Over the years, the City of Grand Haven has played a key role in protecting, preserving, and promoting its lighthouse heritage and maritime history.  Today, through the Lighthouse Conservancy, the City continues that tradition.

With members from the City of Grand Haven, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, the Tri-Cities Museum, Downtown Development District and area businesses, along with other concerned citizens and visitors, the conservancy works to ensure that the Grand Haven’s historic lighthouses remain lit and preserved for generations to come.

Such stewardship used to be in the hands of the federal government, which owned the structures.  That began to change when federally owned lighthouses were made available, at no costs, through the National Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.  When the lighthouses became available in 2009, the City formed the Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy and applied for ownership.  That ownership was recently granted, along with the ongoing responsibility that accompanies it.

Do you have Questions?

Contact us at 800-303-4092 or Email us through our online form. Click here.

Finalizing Phase I – Historic Structures Report

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Preservation | 0 comments

SONY DSCSouth Pier Entrance & Inner Lights

The Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy in partnership with the City of Grand Haven has finalized the HSR (Historic Structures Report) as of September 8, 2015.  The paid services were provided by Sanders & Czapski Associates, PLLC from Marquette, Michigan.

What is a HSR? A historic structure report provides documentary, graphic, and physical information about a property’s history and existing condition. Broadly recognized as an effective part of preservation planning, a historic structure report also addresses management or owner goals for the use or re-use of the property. It provides a thoughtfully considered argument for selecting the most appropriate approach to treatment, prior to the commencement of work, and outlines a scope of recommended work. The report serves as an important guide for all changes made to a historic property during a project-repair, rehabilitation, or restoration-and can also provide information for maintenance procedures. Finally, it records the findings of research and investigation, as well as the processes of physical work, for future researchers.

View the final HSR report here (136pgs) and the appendices here (138pgs).

An excerpt of the executive summary is below:

repair-architectEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Historic Structures Report (HSR) is a planning tool used to document the history, current conditions and use, and guide the preservation of an historic site or building. The purpose of
this Historic Structures Report is to define the historic character of the Grand Haven South Pier Entrance Light and Inner Light located on the south pier at the mouth of the Grand River at Lake
Michigan in the City of Grand Haven, Michigan; document current existing conditions at this present date of time; and to guide the future use, restoration and rehabilitation of these structures.

The pier, owned and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the elevated catwalk structure, owned and maintained by the City of Grand Haven, are not included in this report other than a general discussion as they relate to the significance of the lights.The City of Grand Haven increased in importance as a shipping port on Lake Michigan in the

1800s and in 1839 the United States Congress authorized the construction of the first lighthouse a short distance from the mouth of the Grand River. In subsequent years additional aids to navigation and piers extending from the north and south sides of the river were constructed to improve the safety of the harbor. The present day range light system took shape in the early 1900s with the extension of the south pier, the placement of a navigation light on the Fog Signal Building to serve as the Entrance Light, the construction and eventual relocation of the cylindrical tower to serve as the Inner Light, and construction of the elevated catwalk. This range light system allows for the proper alignment for vessels entering the Grand River channel and is one of only two remaining range light systems with a catwalk on the Great Lakes.
Click here to continue reading the summary.
Onsite material samples taken for historic structures report.

Onsite material samples taken for historic structures report.

Phase 1

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Preservation | 0 comments

SONY DSCLandmark Overhauls Start Soon

Alex Doty, Grand Haven
Apr 11, 2013

Work is set to commence on two of Grand Haven’s most iconic images — the south pier lighthouses.

Grand Haven City Council recently approved spending $259,577 to paint the two structures inside and out.  The money isn’t from the city’s coffers. It was raised by the Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy.

According to the conservancy’s latest figures, more than $400,000 has been raised to help preserve the lighthouses. Campaign efforts included brick sales, fun runs, T-shirt sales and streetlight post banner sales.

The painting project is the first major work since the city took ownership of the lighthouses.

“The lighthouses have been here a long time, and this has to be done sooner or later,” Councilman Mike Fritz said of the project. “People have donated a lot of money and they expect to have stuff done.”

City Council was unanimous in saying it was OK to put up with a summer’s worth of inconvenience in order to ensure that the lighthouses are in good condition for the future.