The Barrier Islands Park Society has outlined the work yet to be accomplished in its restoration of the Gasparilla Island Light (formerly known as the Rear Range Light). The final stages of planning were discussed at a BIPS board meeting last week.
“Who could not be delighted, if not awed, by the progress we have made to date in restoring this beautiful island icon to its 1927 grandeur? “With the removal of tenting and scaffolding, islanders and visitors alike are seeing for the first time in decades a beautiful lady in white with its cupola and lantern room returned to black as it was over 80 years ago,” commented Jim Grant, project director. “But we’re not done yet and we need further financial help to wrap this up by season’s end.”
Grant explained when season’s fundraising campaign last wrapped up in April, donations for the restoration totaled approximately $1.2 million of the $1.83 million estimated to complete the project and establish endowments for perpetual care of both our island lighthouses.
“We had to make a decision … hold off on any work until 2017 when we would presumably have all the funding required, or start work on the structure itself immediately, deferring certain planned phases betting that we could make up the deficit this season,” Grant said. “It was an easy choice to do the latter. We had a five-star team in place – our historical restoration professionals, a world-class lighthouse architect, a world-class metalsmith and one of the finest painting contractors on the planet ready to go. We had a lighthouse…
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