GSA Transfers Historic Fort Gratiot Light Station to Michigan Museum
GSA has transferred the Fort Gratiot Light Station, the oldest lighthouse in Michigan, to the St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Department and its nonprofit partner Port Huron Museum.
Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, GSA works with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Interior’s National Park Service to convey historic lighthouses to new stewards that will provide proper upkeep and continued care. The nation’s historic lighthouses embody a key era in America’s maritime history that would be lost forever if not preserved. The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act enables public entities and nonprofit corporations to obtain lighthouse properties at no cost.
A host of dignitaries attended the ceremony marking the recent deed transfer. The event was attended by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, and representatives from the Coast Guard, National Park Services, St. Clair County, city of Port Huron, and the Port Huron Museum.
Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, the Coast Guard identifies and reports excess light stations to GSA, which issues notices of availability to eligible public entities. The interested parties have 60 days to express interest in acquiring the property. The National Park Service issues applications to interested parties, then reviews, evaluates, and selects the no-cost grantee. Evaluation criteria, which are closely reviewed, include the entity’s financial ability to maintain the historic light station and its ability to adhere to historic covenants and other terms and conditions of the transfer. GSA then transfers the property to the public body recommended by the Secretary of the Interior. In the event no acceptable steward is found, the act authorizes the sale of the property.