Cape Hatteras Lighthouse climbing season on hold as restoration work begins

By on February 28, 2021

(Cape Hatteras National Seashore)


The National Park Service says that any Cape Hatteras Lighthouse climbing season this summer would be shortened as the iconic 150-year-old lighthouse begins a major restoration project.

Approximately 500,000 people visit the Cape Hatteras Light Station annually and approximately 1,500 people climb the lighthouse daily between April and October. But, according to Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) spokesperson Michael Barber, the climbing season at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will not begin until at least after the completion of the interior paint removal project, which will begin this month and take several months to complete.

A Feb. 25 update on the restoration project, which can be followed here (Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Restoration Project – Cape Hatteras National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service) (, notes that the full project is scheduled to start later this year after a competitive contracting process and contract award. Repair work is expected to take approximately one year to complete.

In the meantime, the CHNS is performing work that will assist with finalizing restoration plans. That includes:

  1. Testing exterior paint removal methods, e.g. the dry ice paint removal testing that occurred late last year (completed).
  2. Monitoring interior humidity to enhance understanding of historic water intrusion and condensation (underway).
  3. Removing all the interior paint to help the park and potential contractors fully assess the condition of the interior masonry and metalwork prior to restoration. Interior paint removal is anticipated to begin in early or mid-March and continue through early summer 2021 (about to begin).

Barber said the CHNS plans to release updates on the potential for resuming lighthouse climbing in May.




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