SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

The Next 120 Years: Service Life Issues in the Preservation of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse


Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, constructed in 1869, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the country's most popular landmarks, the 200-ft (61-m) tall lighthouse is constructed of a brick and granite shaft surmounted by a cast iron and glass lantern and gallery. The historic structure has survived its long lifetime remarkably well. However, in recent years, the lighthouse has been threatened by erosion of the nearby shoreline, the harshness of its marine environment, and related deterioration of its exterior cast iron elements. For the National Park Service, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) conducted a detailed investigation and structural analysis, instrumented and monitored the structure, and prepared a program and design for its preservation. During the investigation, WJE developed a program of laboratory and field testing for conservation of the paint and metal at the lighthouse. The information derived from this testing program was used in the preparation of the specifications for repair and preservation. This paper describes the scope of the investigation and program of testing, examines the results of the laboratory and field work, and summarizes the preliminary conclusions of the study.

Author Information

Slaton, D
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 73–85
DOI: 10.1520/STP25458S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5153-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1398-5