A quirky hurricane-proof 19th-century screw-pile lighthouse off the coast of the Florida Keys is up for auction – and the current top bid is $24,000
- Sand Key Lighthouse is 132 feet high and stands six miles off coast of Key West
- It is being sold by U.S. government after being deemed surplus to requirements
- Lighthouse is available via an online auction and the current top bid is $24,000
A 19th-century screw-pile lighthouse that guided boats off the Florida Keys coast is up for sale.
Sand Key Lighthouse is being auctioned off online with the current top bid standing at $24,000 (£17,900).
It is 132 feet high, stands in five feet of water and is located six miles off the coast of Key West.
Sand Key Lighthouse off the coast of Key West. It is being sold via an online auction and the current top bid is $24,000 (£17,900)
The lighthouse, which is being sold by the U.S. government, was built in 1853 with a screw-pile foundation and open framework.
This allows the structure to withstand hurricane-strength wind.
A keeper was required to live and work in the lighthouse in order to operate the light.
But by 1941, its light had become automated and a live-in lighthouse keeper was no longer needed.
For the next 48 years, the lighthouse continued to guide ships but in 1989, during a renovation, a huge fire broke out, severely damaging the structure.
Its light was moved to a nearby lighthouse and a nine-year restoration project took place.
Part of this saw the keepers quarters removed in 1996 and by 1998, the light returned to the tower.
However, in 2014 the Coast Guard deactivated Sand Key Lighthouse and, by 2017, the structure was deemed surplus to requirements.
Sand Key Lighthouse pictured in 1970. Here the keepers quarters are still visible. They were removed following a fire in 1989
It is now for sale via auction on the General Services Administration website and has so far had five bids.
Anyone can bid so long as they are willing to put down a $5,000 (£3,730) guarantee on their offer.
It is unclear when the bidding period will end as the closing time on the auction is ‘TBD’.
The online listing says: ‘The lighthouse is a cast-iron pyramidal screw-pile tower.
‘The structural skeleton consists of inclined cast iron pipe columns with wrought iron tension and compression members.
‘The tower tapers from 50ft x 50ft at its base to 19ft x 19ft at the cast-iron entablature supporting the watch room and lantern housing.
‘The foundation consists of wrought iron screw piles capped with concrete.
‘Only the structure will be conveyed.’