By Outer Banks Voice on April 28, 2021
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) will seek the public’s input on site preservation ideas for the Ocracoke Light Station at two public meetings next month.
The purpose of the meetings is to solicit views on how to sustainably preserve the historic resources at the Ocracoke Light Station in the wake of recent storm damage and in consideration of future impacts from climate change and sea level rise while providing visitor access to the site.
According to the Ocracoke Light Station newsletter, there are four options for the facility.
Option 1 – Repair as is: Repair storm damage and preserve site as is.
Option 2 – Repair and Elevate: Repair storm damage, replace existing shotcrete at lighthouse with historic parge coat, and elevate all structures, except the lighthouse.
Option 3 – Rehabilitate to 1823 Site: Remove the Keeper’s Quarters 1929 Addition and restore/rehabilitate the Keeper’s Quarters using as many original features (e.g., bricks) from the house as possible; restore/rehabilitate the Light Station structures and site to the 1823-1854 Period of Interpretation; and elevate all structures, except the lighthouse. Restoration/rehabilitation to the 1823-1854 Period of Interpretation would include:
• Replacing existing shotcrete at lighthouse with historic parge coat and exposing original stone foundation at lighthouse.
• Replacing existing metal spiral stair case with historically accurate wood staircase.
• Remove other structures except for the 1823 privy.
Option 4 – Relocate: Relocate the lighthouse and the Keeper’s Quarters to a higher elevation, more storm- and flood- resistant location on Ocracoke Island.
The in-person meeting date is Thursday, May 6 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Berkley Barn at Berkley Manor, 58 Water Plant Rd, Ocracoke, N.C.
If the ferry isn’t running due to inclement weather, the in-person meeting will be rescheduled for a later date.
The virtual meeting date is Monday, May 10 from 6-7 p.m.
Audio only attendees will not be able to view the presentation, therefore, all attendees are encouraged to use a computer or smartphone to connect via online meeting link.
The public is invited to submit comments on the preservation ideas presented at the meetings and described in the newsletter until May 28, 2021.
Once a range of preservation ideas are gained and refined through the public meetings, the Seashore will move to the next phase, which will include assessing compliance needs under the National Historic Preservation Act, National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental regulations.