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Great Lakes lighthouse won at auction by magnates who will preserve it

A historic lighthouse on Lake Erie that sold at auction will be preserved. That's the promise made by the local magnates in Ohio who bought it.
Great Lakes lighthouse won at auction by magnates who will preserve it
Posted at 9:33 PM, Sep 12, 2023

The Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse has been sold at auction, and the new owners are two Clevelanders who intend to preserve the historic part of Cleveland’s skyline.

The lighthouse fetched a price of $425,000 when the auction closed on Sept. 6, and the winning bidders were Heather Moore, a designer of personalized luxury jewelry, and Jim Brown, the owner of Classic Auto Group.

"If you grew up in Cleveland, it served as a kind of ‘light of the land’ through wars, the depression, recessions, and boom times, too," Moore stated on the lighthouse’s revamped website. "When Jim Brown, the owner of Classic Auto Group, and I heard it was being auctioned off, it was important to both of us that someone from Cleveland buy it. So, we did!"

The new owners are brainstorming how best to clean up and use the lighthouse while ensuring the historic property is respected and preserved, the website states.

"It’s a part of our history," said Brown, "every bit as much as the lake or downtown. People have worked there for decades, gotten married, shown it off as a tourist destination. We want to take the time to do things right. We don’t close until January, so that helps."

The lighthouse was built at the entrance to Cleveland’s harbor in 1910 and is accessible by boat only, the auction listing states. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983.

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The West Pierhead Lighthouse consists of a four-story brick tower with an entrance vestibule, a basement, a galley on the first floor and living quarters on the second, third and fourth floors, according to the description from the National Register. Above is a watch room with a circular gallery and the lantern rising above. The watch light was converted to electric in 1960 but still shines through a Fresnel lens made in Paris in 1884.

A covered passage connects the tower to a 1.5-story steel-framed fog signal house built in 1916.

Moore creates luxury personalized jewelry that is sold nationwide, and Brown’s ownership group operates over a dozen car dealerships around Northeast Ohio, selling a variety of new and used vehicles.


This story was originally published by Ian Cross at Scripps News Cleveland.


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