The Avery Point Lighthouse Society was formed in February 2000 with the goal
of saving, restoring, relighting and functionally maintaining the Avery Point
Lighthouse located on the University of Connecticut's Avery Point campus in
Groton, Connecticut. The Society is a Chapter of the American Lighthouse
Foundation (ALF) of Wells, Maine. We are a nonprofit organization comprised
of ordinary citizens from southeastern Connecticut who are working closely
with representatives of the University of Connecticut and staff members of
ALF toward the common goal of saving, restoring and relighting the Avery
Lack of maintenance as well as exposure to weather throughout the years has caused significant damage and deterioration to the lighthouse
(Click Here for Picture) .
Complete restoration will have to be completed to bring it back to it's original condition.
SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE BRICK FUNDRAISING PROGRAM:
The Avery Point Lighthouse Society is continuing its exciting fundraising program called "Brick 'buy' Brick You Can Help Save a Lighthouse". All of you lighthouse lovers and supporters now have a chance to purchase and personalize a memorial brick that will become a permanent part of the landscaped walkway and apron around the lighthouse. All profits go directly toward the restoration and relighting of the Avery Point Lighthouse, the only lighthouse reported to have been built as a memorial to all other lighthouses and light keepers.
Don't miss this special opportunity to dedicate a special brick or to remember loved ones with a personalized brick. They make excellent gifts for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and memorials.
A "Certificate of Participation" will be issued immediately upon receipt of your brick order. For a copy of the order form
Updates and Items of Interest
In August 2002, the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Board unanimously approved the Avery Point Lighthouse Society’s nomination to place the Avery Point Lighthouse on the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination was forwarded to the United States Department of Interior’s National Park Service for their review.
On September 6, 2002, the Director of the National Park Service announced that on August 23, 2002, the Avery Point Lighthouse was approved, without reservation, for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Listing on the National Register contributes to preserving this historic property in a number of ways. Some of the benefits of having the lighthouse listed on the Register Include.
· Recognition that the lighthouse is of historical significance to not only the local community but also to the State of Connecticut and the nation.
· Qualifying the lighthouse for Federal assistance in obtaining funding for its [historic] preservation, when funds are available.
· Protecting the structure, through Connecticut General Statutes, from being razed in the future.
Officials at the University of Connecticut, who are the owners of the lighthouse, have indicated they are in the process of obtaining a historical “National Register” marker, which will be permanently and prominently displayed on the lighthouse after the restoration is complete.
During the latter part of August of 2002 the University of Connecticut received the bids for the first [major] phase of the restoration project. This work phase includes the manufacturing and replacement of the lighthouse blocks and the materials and fabrication of the structure’s five windows and its only door. The bid package also included engineering fees to date for the restoration.
After reviewing the bids the University advised APLS that there was a shortfall of approximately $3,500 in the money accumulated/allocated for this phase of the work and that that the contract could not be awarded until this money was available. APLS immediately provided the University with an additional $8,000 in funding to facilitate awarding the bid.
Upon receipt of the money from APLS the University awarded the contract to the lowest bidder. It was anticipated that work would begin on the lighthouse in mid September which would enable the cement/block work to be completed before the onset of the cold winter weather.
Approximately one week after awarding the contract, the lowest bidder advised the University that they had incorrectly underbid the project and requested an additional $30,000 to complete this phase of work. The University subsequently disqualified the lower bidder and entered into negotiations with the second lowest bidder to propose doing the project for a lower bid than they had submitted.
Because of the “snafu” in the bidding process, in conjunction with the unanticipated early arrival of below freezing temperatures to the area, a decision was made to postpone starting the work on this phase of the project until early spring of year 2003.
In mid-February 2003 APLS was advised by the University that an additional $58,750 would be needed to award the contract to start the blocks/windows/door phase of restoration. APLS immediately forwarded a check for $6,000 to the University. Although this contribution brought money available to APLS for daily operations to a minimum, it reduced the amount of money required for awarding the contract to $52,750.
Because the physical structure of the lighthouse is deteriorating rapidly there is great concern that if replacement of the blocks is not started by early spring, the lighthouse could be in danger of collapse. APLS and the American Lighthouse Foundation have initiated various fundraising activities and are feverishly working to obtain the shortfall money.
APLS is making an urgent request to all of the readers of this web site for donations to ensure that the block work begins as soon as possible. Individuals who wish to make donations may mail them to the Avery Point Lighthouse Society at P.O. Box 1552, Groton, CT 06340. Visa and Master card donations are welcome. Payments through PayPal accounts are also accepted by APLS and may be processed by clicking below.
APLS is continuing its efforts to secure funding on the federal level. They have been in contact with the Groton, Connecticut town officials who will be traveling to Washington early next month to discuss various monetary issues with representatives from Representative Simmons' office as well as Senators Dodd and Lieberman offices. APLS has drafted up letters for the Groton officials, which will address the "desperate" need for immediate federal funding (before the structure falls to the ground). These letters and the information contained within them will be provided to the federal legislators along with a request for funding.
On December 4, 2001, the first and most visible phase of the lighthouse restoration project took place. After more than one week of preparation the wooden lantern room was removed from the cement block structure of the lighthouse and then transported to a special storage area on the University of Connecticut's Avery Point Campus.
A special cradle was constructed around the lantern room to not only facilitate lifting and removing it from the base structure, but more importantly, to prevent any damage to the structure.
Mattern Construction, Inc. of Baltic CT was contracted by the University of Connecticut [and APLS] to prepare the lantern room for removal and Marino Crane, Inc. of Middletown, CT performed the delicate lift. Both companies agreed to provide the necessary services "at cost".
(Click Here for Picture 1)
(Click Here for Picture 2)
(Click Here News Article Part A)
(Click Here News Article Part B)
Once removed from the main structure, the lantern room was placed on a flatbed truck provided by Drab Concrete Company of Groton, CT and transported to the new Marine Science Program Building on the Avery Point Campus. Inside space is being provided by the Marine Sciences Program so as to facilitate construction of a duplicate lantern room by the West Mystic Wooden Boat Building Company of West Mystic, CT. That company, which is owned and operated by Steve Jones, a professor at the Avery Point Campus, has offered to duplicate a new lantern room as an "in kind" donation. Construction of the new room is expected to be completed by September of this year.
Membership in the Avery Point Lighthouse Society now exceeds over one hundred and fifty (170). Membership in the organization is very critical to the restoration effort and to the organization. There are different levels of membership to make it affordable for all those who have an interest in saving, restoring and relighting this structure. We invite you to join and become an important asset of this historic and significant venture. All monies from membership dues are tax deductible and go directly toward the restoration effort. (click here for a membership application) .
The drive in obtaining signatures on petitions supporting the saving, restoring and relighting of the Avery Point Lighthouse is continuing. Thanks to the help and hard work of many individuals and partner organizations, well over 18,000 signatures have been obtained. This is a tremendous achievement considering the fact that the petition drive began in the middle of July last year. The petitions will be helpful in obtaining Federal and State funding and/or grants for the restoration and future upkeep.
If you would like to assist in obtaining signatures on petitions please print a copy of the APLS petition appearing on the web site (Click Here). Please return completed petitions to the APLS Post Office address. Your assistance and support is greatly appreciated.
APLS has received a black and white photograph of the lighthouse from the National Archives, which is believed to have been taken just after it was built (Click Here for Photo)
. This is what the L/H will look like after restoration.
Sales of the sculptured model of the Avery Point Lighthouse, which was produced by Spoontiques Collectibles have been overwhelming. This wonderfully designed model is being sold by APLS as part of its ongoing efforts to raise monies for the restoration project. (Click Here for Pictures)
You can now purchase this model for the modest price of $15.00 (plus shipping) by going to the merchandise section of this web site. The model is expected to be a great collector’s item, as a second model will be produced once the restoration is complete.
Feature articles about the efforts to restore and relight the Avery Point Lighthouse appear frequently in issues of the "Lighthouse Digest” magazine. The "Digest" is an internationally distributed magazine about lighthouses and is a must for lighthouse lovers and enthusiasts. The "Lighthouse Digest" has a special offer wherein if you use the subscription application form included in this web site (Click Here Application) , you will received a special subscription rate of $28.00 for 1 year (12 issues) and by doing so the "Lighthouse Digest" will donate $10.00 to the Avery Point Lighthouse Society " which will go directly toward the restoration of the Avery Point Lighthouse. This is a "WIN " WIN" situation for you and APLS so please mail the subscription form to "LIGHTHOUSE DIGEST", PO BOX 1690, WELLS, ME 04090-0059. You can also visit the "Lighthouse Digest" web site by going to www.LighthouseDigest.com
In January 2003 the New England Lighthouse Lovers presented the Avery Point Lighthouse Society with a check in the amount of $1,500. This money will be used in the purchase of a new door in the restoration project.
The New England Lighthouse Lovers organization is actively involved in the preservation of several lighthouse in New England. For further information about this organizaiton please click below.
New England Lighthouse Lovers
World renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the annual APLS fundraising event to be held on May 15, 2003. Further information concerning the location and cost of tickets will be published on this web page when arrangements are finalized. Dr. Lee is a fascinating and entertaining speaker and is known for his work on the OJ Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey cases. Avery Point Lighthouse merchandise will also be available for purchase at this event.
If APLS is successful in raising the necessary funding to start the major block replacement phase of the restoration by early spring, a special “block/ground” breaking event will be held at the lighthouse. All members of APLS and those individuals who have purchased the Avery Point Lighthouse dedication bricks will be invited to this historic event.
The APLS Information and Merchandise table will be set up at various locations during the upcoming months. Locations and tentative dates include the following:
· Annual Groton/New London Sail Fest and Fireworks day – July 13, 2003 – downtown New London
· Groton City Centennial Celebration Day - August 1, 2003 - Washington Park, Groton, CT.
· Mystic Outdoor Art Festival – August 9th and 10th, 2003 (tentative) – downtown Mystic, CT
· Book, Boats & Brushes Festival – September 14, 2003 (tentative) – downtown New London
Anyone interested in helping out or having any suggestions as to where to set up please feel free to contact APLS.
Fundraising Items for Sale
The following lighthouse merchandise may be ordered by calling 860-449-1058
or by sending an email to email@example.com. To order via mail click below and fill out the order form. Please ensure that you include shipping and handling fees as outlined on the form. MasterCard and Visa charges are also accepted. Orders may also be processed through PayPal
All profits go directly toward the restoration effort.
Avery Point Lighthouse Lithograph #1 - By Dan Price signed and numbered (limited edition)
lithographs of water color painting of the Avery Point Lighthouse. $25.00
each (plus shipping and handling)
(Click Here for Picture)
Avery Point Lighthouse Lithograph #2 - By Gigi Mezzo Genovese signed and numbered (limited edition) lithographs of acrylic painting of the Avery Point Lighthouse. $25.00 each (plus shipping and handling)
(Click Here for Picture)
Silk screen T-Shirt - Depicting Connecticut shoreline and its lighthouses.
Large picture of the lighthouse in the foreground with the words "Avery Point Lighthouse Groton, Connecticut". Maroon and light
blue colored shirts. Sizes S, M, L, XL and XXL. $15.00 each (plus shipping
(Click Here for Picture)
(Click Here for Shirt Close-up)
Sand dollar pin - Each individually etched with the Avery Point Lighthouse.
$10.00 each (plus shipping and handling) (Click Here for Picture)
Photograph button - 2" - With photograph of Avery Point Lighthouse and
words "AVERY POINT LIGHTHOUSE GROTON, CT". $2.00 (plus shipping and handling)
(Click Here for Picture)
The Lighthouse Activity Book - by Elinor DeWire. $10.00 each (plus shipping
and handling) (Click Here for Picture)
Avery Point Lighthouse Pin - Gold and white, one inch circular metal pin, depicting the lighthouse and containing the words "AVERY POINT LIGHTHOUS, GROTON, CT" . $3.00 each (plus shipping and handling). (Click Here for Picture)
Computer Screen Saver - IBM compatible screen saver depicting twenty-seven lighthouse images. Two of the images are of the Avery Point Lighthouse - one black and white with snow and the second taken in summer time. $12.00 each (plus shipping and handling) (Click Here for Picture)
Postcard - 4.25 in. x 6 in. color postcard of the Avery Point Lighthouse as it stands today. This will be a collector's item once the restoration is complete. $.40 each (plus shipping and handling) (Click Here for Picture)
Avery Point Lighthouse Model - This sculptured model of the Avery Point Lighthouse is approximately 3 inches tall and was produced by Spoontiques. This will also be a collector's item once the lighthouse restoration is complete. $15.00 (plus shipping and handling). (Click Here for Pictures)
Avery Point Lighthouse Candle - A 4" x 4" candle base with a small candle inside. Has a photograph of the lighthouse on the outside. This is a wonderful items which brightens up any room. $15.00 (plus shipping and handling)
(Click Here for Pictures)
Word about APLS continues to spread like wildfire. Partner organizations continue to greatly help our cause. The Lighthouse Store in Mystic, Ken's Tackle Shop in Groton, the Stonington Lighthouse Museum, the Fairwater Store at the Electric Boat Division in Groton, Orsini's Deli in Groton and the University of Connecticut's Co-Op Store at the Avery Point campus in Groton have all been faithful partners in helping us selling our fundraising merchandise and in obtaining signatures on our petitions. Many thanks to all of these wonderful people as well as the many other organizations and individuals who have contributed to our cause.
For information and occasional updates relating to the Avery Point Lighthouse Society's activities please contact/email the following
Special Information and Lighthouse Links
Monies for the restoration are being raised through tax deductible donations and APLS
It is estimated that the cost for complete restoration could reach approximately $300,000;
however, until the initial engineering study is completed, a more accurate figure
will not be available. Contributions and membership application should be forwarded
to either of the following:
Avery Point Lighthouse Society
P.O. Box 1552
Groton, CT 06340
American Lighthouse Foundation
Avery Point Fund
P.O. Box 889
Wells, ME 04090
To volunteer for APLS, please contact us through any way listed above
or email us here
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This page last updated November 26, 2001.