Summer’s fog is blowing away, unveiling unbroken views of California’s coastline. If you find yourself driving due west, follow the beacon of the Point Arena Lighthouse.
The stellar centenarian, which literally had been crumbling into the parking lot, has been newly reinforced. And now it’s getting a new paint job, thanks to $230,000 grant from the California Cultural and Historic Endowment.
It wound up costing four times more than the original estimate to shore up the 115-foot tall gray lady, leaving no funds for a cosmetic finish. Well-meaning do-it-yourselfers volunteered to paint the 115-foot light tower. But Rae Radtkey, who oversees the light station, tells us the job is not just a DIY project. It requires a coat of parge — a concrete mortar to cover all the patchwork — and then an elastomer over that to seal it. Putting up the scaffolding alone is costing $80,000.
Thanks to the infusion of funds, work on the final finish is under way and should be done by October. That is well in advance of the gray whale migration starting in December.
Radtkey says the lighthouse renovation fund is now $200,000 in the hole. But once the debt is paid off they hope to then gussy up the light station’s accommodations.
The living quarters of the former lightkeepers can now be rented and you have your choice of a room, an apartment or a full house. The amenities as they are now are comfortable but not plush. Still, the location is unique, with stereophonic views of the coast from every window, not to mention the sheer coolness factor of spending the night at a lightstation. Rates are only $125 to $225 a night.