There are just a select few opportunities to live in a lighthouse outside of New York City—$1.5 million could get you a red lighthouse upstate; $425,000 buys a lighthouse and tugboat in West Haven, CT. It’s not everyday these properties come around, but the government is currently auctioning off six of its lighthouses and one, the Penfield Reefer Lighthouse, is located just 60 miles away from Midtown Manhattan.
According to Inhabitat, the federal government—specifically the US General Services Administration—is known for giving away historic but unused lighthouses to non-profit organizations. Those that don’t find a home are then auctioned off to the highest bidder. The Penfield Reefer Lighthouse is one of six now up for auction around the country. (There are two more in Connecticut: Greens Ledge Light, off Norwalk’s shores, and Southwest Ledge Lighthouse, off New Haven, which will remain an active lighthouse.)
The Penfield Reef Lighthouse is a renovated 19th-century structure in the Long Island Sound, located right off the coast of Fairfield, CT. (Yes, you’re going to need a boat to access it.) The 51-foot lighthouse tower even comes with a two-story, 1,568-square-foot home, originally designed for the lighthouse keeper. And a buyer would have the opportunity to turn it into their own residence.
According to the New York Post, “the lighthouses are not zoned for residential occupation” and would require special permitting to allow for such. They also can still be used by the Coast Guard for navigation after any sale, which means the agency has the right to maintain all the associated equipment on the premises. Another caveat: since this property is listed with the National Register of Historic Places, strict guidelines apply to modify the structure and any proposals will beed to be submitted to a Connecticut state historic preservation officer.
Still, this has all the makings for an incredible waterfront property. You have views from all sides and plenty of landing space for incoming boats. Only registered bidders can view the site and must be accompanied with officials from the GSA and the Coast Guard.
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Photos courtesy of the US General Services Administration