For several years, visitors to the New Lighthouse (1870) noticed the growing vertical cracks extending from the corners of the tower windows. The Presque Isle Township administration, which owns and takes great care to maintain the lighthouses, commissioned an engineering firm with experience in historical buildings, Sanders & Czapski Associates of Marquette, to examine the lighthouse tower.
The firm found no evidence of damage to the inner wall or the structural integrity of the tower. But excess moisture had caused the bricks to crack. Late this summer, the Township hired Meridian Restoration of Alpena to bring in a 125-foot-high lift, repair the lintels above and below the tower windows, replace the cracked bricks, and repaint the affected area. This essential work went well as the cracked bricks were replaced in advance of winter to prevent future damage. According to Matt Bedard, Township Facilities and Project Manager, although the interior and exterior walls of the 1870 tower will continue to be monitored closely, the repair will prevent any further water intrusion that could cause damage to the inner wall or structural integrity.
Funds to repair the 1870 tower were drawn from the Presque Isle Township Lighthouses Restoration Fund at CFNEM, the Lighthouse Gift Shop Committee Fund, and the Township’s Facilities Budget. To reduce costs, bricks that had been retained from the 1988 rebricking of the tower were reused for the recent repair.