You Can Buy The Liston Range Rear Light

liston_rear_range_gsa_1.jpg

I know the US Government is selling off lighthouses all the time, but the Liston Range Rear Light in Delaware strikes me as exceptional.

It is a 120-ft tall, braced iron tube built in 1876 that sits, unusually for a light house, three miles inland from the mouth of the Delaware River. It stands on around half an acre of land. It's a few miles south of 95; I think that's the exit where the Denny's is. There's a 100sf building at the base that's included, but the adjacent keeper's house and assistant keeper's house were sold quite some time ago. The cylindrical tower is lined with wood, and the steel spiral staircase has five landings, in case you need to rest on the way up.

liston_rear_range_gsa_2.jpg

As a range light, it is twinned with a front light which is lower and closer to the water's edge. Ships navigate by aligning the two lights in a range light.

liston_fresnel_loc.jpg

The Liston Range Rear Light still contains its 2nd-order Fresnel lens, which is unusual.

It is now being sold by the US Coast Guard. The current bid is $10,000. I repeat, $10,000.

One catch, and it's a big one, is that the Coast Guard retains title to the Fresnel lens unless and until it decides it doesn't need to be in the range light aid to navigation business anymore. At which point, it may decide to give the lens to the lighthouse's owner. Who must agree "to display the Fresnel Lens if and when it is discontinued in accordance with the standards set forth in the Guidelines on the Care and Maintenance of Historic Classical Fresnel Lenses."

It's a bummer about the Fresnel Lens, but until I can get my hands on one of those late 19th century War Dept. Gettysburg observation towers, this range light might have to do.

Liston Light Tower [gsaauctions.gov]
Liston Rear Range, DE [lighthousefriends.com, bottom image of Fresnel Lens, LOC via LHF]
Liston Rear Range Light [wikipedia]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: May 7, 2013.

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