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Historic Lighthouse for Sale: U.S. Government Auctions Off Tallest Light Station In Boston Harbor

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: Aug 01, 2013 10:27 AM EDT

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Graves Island Lighthouse
Graves Island Lighthouse is up for auction until August 6.(Photo : General Services Administration)

For anyone interested in purchasing an historic lighthouse, the opportunity will be available for five more days as the U.S. government auctions off Graves Island Light Station, which is the tallest lighthouse in Boston Harbor, according to the National Park Service and reported by ABC News.

The current highest bid is $11,000.

"The property includes the approximately 10 acres of ledge known as Graves Island, the conical lighthouse structure, the attached dock and the oil house," the General Services Administration (GSA) said, the group handling the auction.

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The lighthouse is 110-years old and 113-feet high. It has an interior that includes a storage space, an engine room, a kitchen and several bedrooms.

The "structure is no longer of use to the Coast Guard" because other technology allows them to do the same job," Patrick Sclafani, of the GSA, said.

Though the government will no longer be the owner of the lighthouse, it will maintain some authority over the building. The terms of the sale indicate that "the United States shall have the right to enter the Property at any time for the purpose of maintaining the navigational aids" and "the right to utilize the fog signal horn at any time and in any manner it deems necessary."

The sale of the lighthouse will benefit both the new owner and the public, according to Robert Zarnetske, the Regional Administrator of the GSA.

"The light facilitated commerce and kept generations of mariners safe," he said. "Going forward, in partnership with a private owner, the light will continue to serve as an active aid to navigation without taxpayer expense."

The lighthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. By law, the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation act required the GSA to offer the lighthouse at no cost to both non-profit and educational groups before offering it at auction. A lack of successful applicants led to the auction, according to Sclafani.

Anyone interested in bidding had the opportunity to inspect the lighthouse with the GSA and Coast Guard. The two highest bids were made after the inspection. There have been five bids in total.

The auction is scheduled to end on August 6.

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