Shown here is the interior watch room, just below the lantern room, of Florida’s Anclote Key Lighthouse as it appeared in a photo taken by Jose Font on October 6, 1990. Graffiti covered nearly every inch of the interior of the lighthouse. Anclote Key Lighthouse was automated in 1952 and discontinued in 1984. Rather than find a caretaker or attempt to lease out the site that was built with taxpayer money, the Coast Guard simply abandoned the site. It didn’t take long for the dredges of society to make their way to the lighthouse and shoot or kick out the windows, and attempt to destroy as much as they could. The keeper’s houses were also burned. As late at 1998, thieves even managed to steal tons of bricks from the old walkway. It eventually took a ton of money to restore that lighthouse that is now part of the Anclote Preserve State Park.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2014 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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