Case Studies

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton, NC - restoration



Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a National historic Landmark and National Register property constructed in 1870. The structure has been threatened by erosion of the nearby shoreline and by deterioration of its exterior cast iron elements. The National Park Service commissioned the work, including the investigation, documentation, analysis and development of a program and design for stabilization and restoration of this historic lighthouse. WJE developed the engineered instrumentation of the structure for long-term monitoring and structural evaluation.

The first phase of design work included preparation of a structural analysis report detailing the present condition of the structure and recommendations for repair and a comprehensive preservation program report including recommendations for long-term restoration and maintenance.

The second phase of design work included the preparation of detailed plans and specifications for the repair and preservation of the lighthouse. This work entailed restoration of the interior and exterior brick masonry and granite, and extensive repair work to the interior and exterior cast iron and wrought iron elements of the lighthouse.

All work on site was performed with our forces and included rigging, scaffolding and access design; masonry and stone restoration; the successful fabrication of new replications of cast iron, bronze and copper elements of the structure and incorporation of new pieces with existing elements. Many existing elements were dismantled, labeled, replenished and repaired and reinstalled, including the gallery belt course, the gallery brackets (worked on in place), gallery deck hand rail system, upper and lower wall plates, lantern deck and lantern room curtain wall system including glazing, elements of the roof, and many interior elements of the spiral.

The work was performed at a time when the Bonner Bridge was damaged and impassible, hence initially all equipment was mobilized via ground transportation and ferry.

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