Three major grants were awarded to the USLHS for Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse preservation. The Getty Foundation, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, has awarded a $60,000 grant to conserve the lighthouse’s screwpile foundation; the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded a $72,385 Chesapeake Bay Gateways matching grant to help enhance public access to the lighthouse; and the Maryland Historical Trust has awarded a $50,000 capital matching grant for various preservation activities. The $182,385 will go a long way towards addressing the most challenging and the costliest projects in our preservation plan.

The screwpile foundation conservation funded by the Getty grant follows the recommendations of a structural assessment that was done for the U.S. Coast Guard in 2001, and an additional assessment and analysis that was just completed for the USLHS by the architectural firm of Kann & Associates and their engineering partners at Robert Silman Associates.

All of the iron and steel structural members above the waterline will be thoroughly cleaned and the rust that has accumulated since this type of conservation work was last done 15 years ago will be removed. In some cases, structural members will be replaced altogether because the corrosion is too severe to allow the member to be preserved and maintain their structural integrity. The final step will be to give all of the iron and steel members a coating to protect it from further corrosion. The work will be done by a qualified and professional engineering and construction firm that will be selected through competitive bidding and has experience working in an offshore environment and abiding by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The overall effort would take approximately five to six months, starting in the spring of 2006 and completing in the fall.

The work to be funded by the NPS Chesapeake Bay Gateways program will enhance safe public access to the site by constructing a new, expanded docking facility. In addition, the grant supports efforts to give visitors a more engaging and historically accurate experience through restoring a modern kitchen and other interior space to historic conditions and preserving historic windows. Finally, the grant will support the fabrication and installation of enclosures to protect and display operational aid-to-navigation equipment. TPSL, through its partnership with the Annapolis Maritime Museum, is one of over 140 trails, parks, maritime museums, refuges and historic sites in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. “Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is a tremendous asset of this region, and it will be a wonderful place through which to connect with a piece of the Chesapeake story. This grant helps prepare the lighthouse for visitors. ” said Gateways Network Director Jonathan Doherty.

The Maryland Historical Trust capital grant application was written to parallel and supplement/match several of the activities that are also covered under the Getty and Gateways grants, including stabilization and preservation of exposed historic fabric, including original tongue-and-groove paneling and flooring; implementation of engineering modifications or additions to remedy structural weaknesses and to enhance safety for public access; construction of enclosures for operational equipment; and removal of a modern bathroom and restoration of the area to the 1875 design.

The USLHS and the TPSL partnership greatly appreciates the enthusiastic and early support of the Getty Foundation, the NPS Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, and the Maryland Historical Trust to help us conserve this National Historic Landmark and Chesapeake Bay icon. All three of these grants require at least a corresponding match to be provided by the USLHS and its partners. Each of you can help meet this match by personally becoming a Plank Owner or by joining the ranks of our corporate sponsors Please visit our Donors page for more information.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The Getty Trust and the Getty programs are located at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Additional information is available on the Getty Web site.

The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network (CBGN) connects visitors with the Chesapeake and its rivers through more than 140 parks, wildlife refuges, museums, sailing ships, historic communities, trails and more. These Gateways are the special places where people can experience the authentic Chesapeake – its spectacular natural areas, its unique contributions to America’s history, its maritime heritage. Authorized by the United States Congress in 1998 and created in 2000, the Network is coordinated by the National Park Service to inspire public appreciation of the Chesapeake as a national treasure and to support its conservation. To learn more about CBGN visit their website.

The Maryland Historical Trust was formed in 1961 to assist the people of Maryland in identifying, studying, evaluating, preserving, protecting, and interpreting the states significant prehistoric and historic districts, sites, structures, cultural landscapes, heritage areas, cultural objects, and artifacts, as well as less tangible human and community traditions. The Trust is the principal operating unit within the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, which is an agency of the Maryland Department of Planning. Please visit the MHT.