GSA announces public auction for three historic lighthouses in Florida Keys

February 24, 2022

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announces the public sale of three Florida lighthouses as part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA) effort to find new owners for these historic structures.

The following lighthouses are available for public sale starting Feb. 22, 2022:

Carysfort Reef Lighthouse: Constructed in 1852, this venerable lighthouse, located approximately six miles offshore of Key Largo, Florida, features a 124-foot cast iron tower with an octagonal screw-pile design, keeper’s quarters and a landing dock.
Sombrero Key Lighthouse: Sitting seven miles off the coast of Marathon, Florida, this 142-foot cast iron octagonal screw-pile tower with keeper’s quarters was constructed in 1858.
American Shoal Lighthouse: Built in 1880, this 109-foot cast iron screw-pile tower with keeper’s quarters is located approximately six miles offshore of Sugarloaf Key, Florida.

About the Auction

As part of the NHLPA program, GSA is offering the lighthouses through an online auction at realestatesales.gov. Interested bidders will need to complete an online registration form and submit a deposit.

The auction opened on Feb. 22, 2022. Those interested in bidding are required to register in advance and submit a $5,000 registration deposit. The starting bid will be $15,000, and bid increments will be $2,500. Site inspections will only be offered to registered bidders.

GSA Auctions Floriday Keys Lighthouses.  Pictured from left to right: Carysfort Reef, Sombrero Key and American Shoal

All three lighthouses are located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Two of the structures, Carysfort Reef and Sombrero Key, are also located within Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs). Certain activities that are allowed in most areas of the sanctuary are prohibited in SPAs. Many of the marine species living on or surrounding the structure are protected by state and federal laws, including the federal Endangered Species Act. Through the NHLPA program, proceeds from the public sales go back into the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Aid to Navigation Fund, which pays for the equipment, maintenance, and resources to continue preservation and maintenance of active aids to navigation There are numerous types of navigational aids that this USCG program manages, including lighthouses.

Since 2000, GSA has administered the NHLPA with its partners, the Department of the Interior–National Park Service and USCG. To date, 133 lighthouses have been sold or transferred out of federal ownership, with 78 transferred at no cost to preservationists and 55 sold by auction to the public.

For more information, contact: Eric Stavely at eric.stavely@gsa.gov or 404-803-3128 or Joseph Grimmett at joseph.grimmett@gsa.gov or 404-538-2981.

GSA’s Southeast Sunbelt Region oversees the delivery of real estate, technology and procurement solutions to government and the American people in eight states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee

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About GSA:
GSA provides centralized procurement for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet and overseeing approximately $75 billion in annual contracts. GSA’s mission is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government, in support of the Biden-Harris administration’s priorities. For more information, visit GSA.gov and follow us at @USGSA.

Last Reviewed: 2022-02-24