Makeover Approved for St. Marks Lighthouse

Congressman Allen Boyd has voted in favor of a new bill aimed at opening the historic Saint Marks Lighthouse to the public.

Standing more than 80 feet above water the Saint Marks Lighthouse is hard to miss, but because of much needed repairs the inside of the historic gem has been closed off from the public.

Matt Powers, FAMU architecture professor, says, "A lot of lighthouses are more elaborate and more extravagant, and this is sort of a plain lighthouse, but I think that is what adds to the appeal over time.”

FAMU professor Matt Powers and students from his landscape architecture class take a tour of the area.

Cheryl Calendar, a FAMU student, says, "They could do a lot with the landscaping, integrate the type of plants that you have in this area where people can easily be close to it and make it more beautiful than it already is naturally."

This week Florida Congressman Allen Boyd voted in favor of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act.

Passage of the bill would mean a transfer of the lighthouse's ownership from the U.S. Coast Guard to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This would open the door for a much needed restoration.

Yun Cao, a FAMU student, says, "The people need culture, and culture needs history, and the lighthouse is a part of history."

Officials with the National Lighthouse Keepers Association and the Saint Marks Refuge Association are prepared to make repairs immediately once ownership is transferred.

The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act now await passage in the Senate.