The Campaign to Save Pigeon Point Lighthouse
For nearly a century and a half, Pigeon Point Lighthouse has stood as a symbol of California’s spirit and a reminder of its past. But time has taken its toll—and the lighthouse’s future is in peril. Please help us save this treasured landmark before it’s too late.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest and most treasured landmarks on the California coast. Its first-order Fresnel lens, the most powerful lens of the day, was a marvel of high-tech design when it was first lit in 1872. For more than 140 years this strong, stunning beacon has guided passing ships and inspired millions of visitors from all over the world.
Unfortunately, after a lifetime of exposure to wind, rain, sun, fog, and salty sea mist, the 115-foot tower is literally crumbling. And recent structural failure compromises the tower’s integrity and makes complete rehabilitation critically necessary. Closed to the public since a portion of its iron belt course broke off in 2001, it may not stand for the years ahead without immediate action.
CSPF is spearheading a major fundraising campaign in partnership with California Department of Parks and Recreation to restore Pigeon Point Lighthouse to its original glory and give it a renewed future.
CSPF completed an interim stabilization in 2012 to provide limited and temporary protection. The 100% construction drawings, an integral part of the lighthouse rehabilitation plan, were completed in the fall of 2015 and are awaiting final sign off by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Once this important landmark has been restored and reopened to the public, it will provide rich educational opportunities to hundreds of thousands of tourists, school children, and hostel guests who visit each year. The lens will once again dazzle us with its 24 beams of light. But we need your help to make this happen.
Please join us in saving this California treasure. With a gift to the Light Up the Future Campaign, you can help ensure that Pigeon Point Lighthouse stands strong and its awe-inspiring light shines for generations to come.
Over 200,000 people visit Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park each year, including more than 12,000 hostel guests and 3,500 school children participating in educational programs. Their visitor experience is enhanced by the park’s vibrant and active volunteer program. Trained volunteer ambassadors provide tours, operate the visitor center and gift shop, and contribute an estimated 4,300 hours each year educating visitors about the Light Station's unique historical and cultural features.
Currently, the lighthouse tower and Oil House are off-limits to visitors. However, CSPF began the first phase of the lighthouse restoration in November 2011 with the removal and restoration of the Fresnel lens, and interim stabilization of the upper tower was completed in 2012. Workers took the lens apart piece by piece and sent the pieces out the window on a zip line. From there the lens was placed in the Fog Signal Building where it was safely cleaned, restored, and reassembled for display. While restoration work is being completed on the lighthouse, visitors can see the lens up close and personal in the Fog Signal Building during visiting hours.
Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park is open Friday through Monday from 8 a.m. until sunset, weather permitting. Volunteer docents, when available on these days, are present from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the park’s web site or call 650-879-2120 for information regarding hours and upcoming events. For information on accommodations at the Pigeon Point Hostel, go to www.norcalhostels.org/pigeon/ or call 650-879-0633.
We cultivate stewardship of state parks by hosting and funding a range of volunteer and educational programs aimed to support state parks.
We work to ensure that state parks in significant need of repair or restoration are taken care of, both from volunteer programs and capital campaigns.
We give direct support to state parks by offering a series of competitive grants to state park units, qualified nonprofits, government entities, and partners of state parks.