Michigan, Wisconsin Lighthouses Up for Auction

News Release

Great Lakes Region

July 30, 2014                       Download Sturgeon Bay Release Download Round Island, Mackinac Release

Long view of Round Island lighthouse near Mackinac Island, Mich., from the Getty CollectionOnline auction allows public to own a piece of history

CHICAGO – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announces the public sale for two lighthouses – the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal North Pierhead lighthouse in Wisconsin and the Round Island Passage lighthouse near Mackinac Island, Michigan – in an effort to find new owners for the historic structures. Both lighthouses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will continue to serve as active aids to navigation maintained by the United States Coast Guard.

Mackinac Island Lighthouse Details

  • The Round Island Passage Lighthouse consists of an octagon-shaped concrete base with a 71-foot high tower.
  • The light was built in 1947, immediately following World War II, and was one of the last lights to be constructed on the Great Lakes.
  • The light has four bronze plates near the top of the tower that depict Petoskey, a famous Michigan Native American.

Sturgeon Bay Lighthouse Details

  • Constructed in 1903, the 39-foot tall lighthouse consists of a cylindrical cast iron tower integrated with a rectangular fog signal building and an attached catwalk.
  • The light tower is topped with a circular cast iron platform that supports the lantern.

About the Auction

  • As part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act program, GSA is offering the two lighthouses to the public through an online auction. The Sturgeon Bay lighthouse auction started July 22, while the Round Island lighthouse auction begins August 18.
  • Interested bidders will need to complete an online registration form and submit a registration deposit of $5,000.
  • The starting bid is $10,000, which does not represent the actual value of either lighthouse.
  • Additional information on the lighthouses and the auctions can be found at www.realestatesales.gov.
  • Since 2000, more than 100 lighthouses have been sold or transferred out of federal ownership, with 68 transferred at no cost to preservationists and 36 sold by auction to the public.

Long shot of Sturgeon Bay lighthouseGSA’s Great Lakes Regional Administrator Ann P. Kalayil said GSA has a responsibility to dispose of excess government real estate assets, including historic lighthouses.

“Lighthouses like the Round Island Passage and Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal North Pierhead have deep roots and tangible value as historic landmarks in local communities. Through public sales, GSA is able to help find new owners while saving taxpayer dollars on operation and maintenance.”

In support of Obama Administration goals to use federal real estate assets more efficiently, GSA has increased its efforts to help federal agencies identify unneeded properties and move them into the disposal process by hosting auctions, requesting industry input, and offering proposed exchanges.

In 2013, GSA sold or transferred 213 facilities across the country, generating $97.7 million in sales. Since 2010, GSA has completed 565 disposal transactions, which have generated $207.5 million in proceeds and eliminated more than 28,121 acres of excess land.


The mission of GSA is to deliver best value in real estate, acquisition and technology services to government and the American people. The agency delivers this commitment through six priority areas that include: delivering better value and savings; serving our partners; expanding opportunities for small businesses; creating a more sustainable government; leading with innovation; and building a stronger GSA.

Last Reviewed 2015-01-14