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The Piedras Blancas lighthouse lens needs repairs: Here's how you can help

Piedras Blancas lighthouse lens
Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 23, 2024

For nearly 150 years, the Piedras Blancas lighthouse has played a vital role for mariners. Repairs are needed for a piece of its history and your help can make it happen.

If you pass through Main Street in Cambria, you may have noticed the Piedras Blancas lighthouse lens on display. Originally installed at the lighthouse back in 1875, it served as a primary seacoast aid and navigation for around 75 years.

“Until 1949, when we had a major storm that caused enough damage to the tower that it was determined the room which housed the lens itself needed to be removed from the lighthouse itself,” explained Scot Addis, Piedras Blancas Light Station Association Board Member.

The lens came to the Pinedorado Lions grounds in Cambria shortly after.

Repair work estimated at a cost of $120,000 wrapped up two weeks ago on the outside portion of the len's enclosure to prevent moisture from getting inside.

“These were all added to add structural integrity to the enclosure,” Addis said.

But in order to complete repairs inside the enclosure and restore the lens itself, another $50,000 is needed. The work involves a two-phase approach: stabilizing and upgrading the existing enclosure and also community forums.

“We’d like to be able to get the community’s input on where the lens should reside permanently — should that continue to be at its current location, should it return to the lighthouse itself or somewhere else in the vicinity,” Addis said.

Having lived in Cambria for 40 years, Catherine Hyde has visited the lighthouse and drives past the lens often.

“I would be really happy to see the lighthouse where it stands a complete lighthouse. You know, it’s absolutely beautiful but it’s obviously partial,” Hyde said.

Addis, meanwhile, says the U.S. Coast Guard owns the lens along with local stakeholders and the key is ensuring they maximize visibility.

“So that the public has the ability to come up and see this lens firsthand and really appreciate all the history that’s associated with this historic artifact,” Addis said.

“We don’t have that many full lighthouses on the coast anymore so it's historic,” Hyde added.

For more information on how you can donate, click here.