Photo by WRC6 on Panoramio.
When I was a kid, I remember sitting for hours on end watching The Little Mermaid and dreaming about living under the sea. Today’s Jawdropper might be the closest I’ll ever get to that childhood dream, which is probably a good thing (sadly, I wasn’t born with gills). Allow me to present to you one of the coolest and quirkiest properties on the market today: a bona-fide, move-in ready Connecticut lighthouse!
The Penfield Reef Lighthouse is located 1.1 miles off the coast of Fairfield, Connecticut on Penfield Reef at the entrance to the Long Island Sound. Built in 1874, it was one of the last offshore masonry lighthouses constructed (later lighthouses were built of cast iron). Its 51-foot-tall octagonal lighting tower sits on a 2-story square base. The base, or keeper’s quarters, is 28′ x 28′ and constructed of granite and timber frames. Designed in the Second Empire style, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
In 1969, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that it would replace the structure with a steel tower, but public outcry led to its preservation. In 2003, the Coast Guard had the tower repaired to correct problems with asbestos, lead paint, mold, and decaying bricks and mortar. Along with two other Connecticut lighthouses, the federal government put the Penfield Reef Lighthouse up for public auction in 2007, and it is still on the market today despite a 2008 legal battle for ownership between the city and the nonprofit Beacon Preservation.
This nautical beauty can all be yours for less than $50,000, the price around which news sources predict the auction will peak. However, it will require $500,000 in renovations to make it livable — just “small” additions like electricity and plumbing are required! Though with four bedrooms, a sitting room, a kitchen, and a supply room, what more do you need? And if you’re a true seaman, the only-by-boat accessibility won’t be a bother. Besides, just think of the views — even Ariel would be jealous!
For more information, you can view this PDF issued by the state of Connecticut for the property sale.
AUTHOR DANA SCHULZ
Dana Schulz is a writer and lover of urban exploration, culinary history, and, most of all, old houses. Her dream home would have a wrap-around porch to host dinner parties featuring the tasty treats prepared in her vintage kitchen, complete with a farmhouse sink, retro refrigerator, and collection of milk glass containers.