Restoration Progress Updates

October 13, 2021 — State Parks staff continue to update the architectural plans for the lower two-thirds of the tower for inclusion in the bid package for the overall tower restoration. As indicated last month, the earlier plan was to complete restoration in several phases. With the allocation of $18+ million in state funds, this project will be undertaken in its entirety.

On a parallel track, State Parks has established an advisory group to develop recommendations for consideration in addressing a variety of visitor-supporting infrastructure topics. For example, the group will consider how to provide:

• public access once the tower restoration is complete
• access alternatives for those with limited physical abilities unable to enter the tower
• staffing and volunteer resources needed
• ways to address parking, restroom facilities and other visitor needs in anticipation of increased visitorship
• new landscaping to improve visitor flow around the park
• long-term maintenance of this iconic structure on an ongoing basis
• other types of activities and events to attract visitors

A related ground-level project currently being developed is the replacement of the observation deck behind the fog signal building. This area provides visitors with an unimpeded view of the rocky reefs that once presented a dangerous obstacle to sailing ships making their way to San Francisco loaded with prospective gold miners and goods for the burgeoning population of California. Today, visitors also enjoy looking for whales, dolphins, harbor seals, pelicans and other marine life, or watching for the green flash of the sunset on a crisp, clear fall evening.


September 10, 2021 — Work is underway to compile the construction bid package that will be released to prospective historic restoration companies. Originally, this project was expected to be completed in several phases. Full funding allows these phases to be consolidated into one project. Here is a sense of how this process may work once the bid package is released:

Day 0 – bid package released
Day 60 – bids due
Day 120 – contract awarded

Emphasis will be placed on the upper third of the structure where the most significant damage is located. The upper belt course failed in late 2001, causing the US Coast Guard to close public access. The outer decks, railings and lantern roof have experienced considerable rust and deterioration. The interior masonry in the upper portion is crumbling from water intrusion.

Throughout the body of the tower, the interior masonry and wrought-iron spiral staircase will be refurbished to insure structural integrity. The exterior masonry will be similarly addressed. At the base, the lower belt courses have also rusted and will require refurbishment or replacement. Some work has already been completed on the keeper’s office/oil room at the base but more will be needed.


July 16, 2021 — As a result of improved revenue projections in late 2020, the Governor's January Budget included $20 million for deferred maintenance projects within the State Park System, which was subsequently increased to $185 million in the 2021 May Revision. This additional funding enabled State Parks to increase its allocation for the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Project to fully-fund both phases of the restoration at a cost of approximately $18 million. The project is scheduled to go out to bid this fall and start construction next year.


Aug. 29, 2019 — California State Parks today announced that it is one-step closer to restoring a shuttered icon of the California Coast – the Pigeon Point Lighthouse that has been closed to the public for almost 20 years. The department is dedicating $9.157 million to the Upper Lighthouse Stabilization and Restoration Project. Work on the lighthouse could begin as early as next spring.

Read the Press Release