Lighthouse Restoration

Progress Update

June 30, 2022 – The consolidation of the original architectural, engineering and technical plans for the overall tower restoration has been completed. The proposed bid package is now undergoing the required fiscal, legal and contractual reviews prior to its release.

3D Documentation of the Tower
The CyArk team continues to process the combination of lidar and photogrammetry collected in May to construct a 3D model of the tower. This may provide useful information to the restoration contractor on the extent of the interior and exterior damage of the tower. We are also working with them on possible additional funding to create a virtual interpretive tower tour using the completed model. Such a tool will be helpful to show visitors the current condition of the tower and as a platform for providing an alternative option for those with mobility issues once the tower re-opens.

Condition Assessment of the Lens Pedestal
In late May, we met with a lampist (an expert on the restoration of Fresnel lenses and related apparatus) to determine how best to remove the pedestal mechanism from the tower for refurbishment and protection during the restoration. He determined that the work could be done onsite in a secure ground-level space. The removal of the pedestal will be coordinated with the restoration contractor once selected. A separate fund-raising effort for this project, including the refurbishment of the lens and its return to the lantern room, will be undertaken by Coastside State Parks Association.

Here are some highlights from the report:
• The pedestal is currently in rough condition but completely capable of being returned to service with proper restoration.
• There is extensive rust covering the entire pedestal.
• The chariot wheels are worn.
• The horizontal guide wheels behind the chariot wheels are frozen.
• The roads that the chariot wheels run on are grooved.
The primary question to be answered is where will the work be done? Ideally, there will be coordination with the primary restoration contractor to provide a crane to remove the pedestal so the work could be done at ground level in a secure storage container on site. When the tower construction is complete, the crane would return the pedestal. The lens will then likely be returned to the lantern room using a rigging system internally rather than any external means.

As time goes on, we will be exploring with the US Coast Guard the possible nightly use of the lens. This may mean it becomes a Private Aid to Navigation (PATON) that would be maintained by State Parks using a small, trained cadre of volunteers. 

These two photos show the current condition of the Fresnel lens pedestal, including a close-up of the main gear. 

Fresnel lens pedestalFresnel lens pedestal close-up

Useful Links
Check this link for periodic updates: 

Explore the park’s website for more history of the park:

Our Facebook page provides a view to what’s happening around the park, including special events, wildlife sightings – whales, birds, and more – as well as activities at neighboring parks.

Our Valued Partners
Coastside State Parks Association – 
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks – 
Peninsula Open Space Trust – 
California State Parks Foundation – 
California Lighthouse Society – 

Read past restoration progress updates
View photos of damage to be repaired


Projects on the Horizon

Upper Portion of Tower

Upper Portion of Tower Architectural Sketch

Tower (Upper Portion) –  In 2019, the State allocated $9+ million to restore the upper portion of the tower. Because of COVID-19 and the 2020 wildfires, the bid package was never released. This work is being addressed in the new $18+ million bid package being developed for the entire tower. Work will include the lantern room, the decks and railings, the upper belt course and masonry.

(Sketch courtesy of Architectural Resources Group)



Recently Completed Ground-Level Projects

Fog Signal Building – The exterior of the fog signal building was completely refurbished. This included restoration of the fog horn trumpets on the ocean side of the building as well as stabilizing the observation deck.

Before After

Fog Signal Building Before Renovation

Fog Signal Building After Renovation

Keepers Office & Oil Room
– At the base of the tower, the small Keepers office and adjacent oil room received lead abatement, painting and a new roof. The front door and windows were also refurbished. This allowed limited public tours to take visitors into the first level and tower base.

Before After

Keepers Office and Oil Room Before Renovation

Keepers Office and Oil Room After Renovation


Oil Bunker – The 1905 oil bunker received a complete makeover, including lead abatement and painting. New interpretive exhibits were installed expanding upon those in the fog signal building. New benches were also placed outside the bunker for visitors. 

Before: Oil Bunker Exterior After: Oil Bunker Exterior

Outside of Oil Bunker before Renovation

Outside of Oil Bunker after Renovation

Before: Oil Bunker Interior After: Oil Bunker Interior

Inside of Oil Bunker Before Renovation


Inside of Oil Bunker After Renovatioin


Picket Fence – A 200-foot stretch of dilapidated fence along the south bluff of the lighthouse was rebuilt by volunteers using donated materials.

Before After
Picket Fence Before Renovation Picket Fence After Renovation