Oswego looks to restore historic lighthouse

The Oswego Lighthouse

For more than 75 years, the current Oswego Lighthouse has helped guide ships in and out of Oswego Harbor. Mary Vanouse, Director of Community Development for the city of Oswego, says the city now owns the lighthouse and has big plans for the long-abandoned landmark.

"Our goal is to make it so one day we can take visitors out to the lighthouse as a tourist attraction," she says.

Before the city can do anything, they are going to have to do some major clean-up of some asbestos inside the lighthouse. Ted Panayotoff of the Oswego Lighthouse Development Committee says once the hazardous materials are removed, volunteers will do the rest of the clean-up at the site, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

"The lighthouse represents a period in the 1930s when a number of lighthouses were built in the Great Lakes. So it has some neat architetural features," Panayotoff says.

Panayotoff says restoring the lighthouse is a way to honor members of the Lighthouse Service who watched over the country's lighthouses for almost two hundred years.

"It was a very dangerous job, but one that was necessary," he says.

The city says most of the cost of restoring the lighthouse will come from a $250,000 grant from the Canal Corporation. If all goes as planned, the city hopes to open the lighthouse up to the public in two years.

Once the lighthouse is restored, the city hopes to have a shuttle boat service to take visitors out to see it.