The talk around PC these past few weeks has been the proposed development in Water Works Park. Two weeks ago Mike Rose and his team presented their concept for revitalizing the city at a packed public meeting at the Elks Lodge.
Significantly, their presentation included mention of the Port Clinton Lighthouse. The Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy was pleased to see the lighthouse included in the development concept because it indicates broad public support for our efforts. However, a few words of explanation and clarification are perhaps needed to clear up any misunderstanding created by the inclusion of a "lighthouse/viewing platform" in the concept drawing.
The Conservancy was not consulted on this location. Had we been consulted we would have made it clear that this would not be an acceptable location, for a number of reasons, not least of which this location on the river is inconsistent historically. The lighthouse was positioned so as to guide vessels coming into the harbor. For this reason, in our discussions with the office responsible for historic marker designations, we've been told a location other than on the lakefront would likely not garner approval for historic designation status. We have made this clear in our talks with the city administration.
We continue to urge city leaders to approve placement of the lighthouse north of Derby Pond. As is clear from the most recent concept drawing for the development presented by Mayor Leone at the last council meeting, that location is outside the 14 acre development area. Consequently there is no longer any impediment to locating the lighthouse north of the Derby Pond.
In the coming days we hope to meet with the city to jump start this process. We are hopeful the city will engage with us and agree on a location so that we can get the lighthouse on the waterfront by next summer. There is no doubt it will attract visitors to the city. In September the U.S. Lighthouse Society will be bringing a tour group of 42 here to see the lighthouse at Brand's Marina, as part of a tour of northern Ohio lighthouses. Despite the fact that it is on private property and under renovation, this group was so eager to see the lighthouse that they appealed to Mr. Brand to include it in their tour.
I think this says something about the appeal of this lighthouse, and lighthouses in general. Now that it has been clarified that the development will not extend any further east than Washington Street, let’s proceed with placement of the lighthouse in the non-development area with a target of next spring, so that it can begin to attract visitors to the city.
Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy
Members: Darrell Brand, Rev. Robert Butcher, Doug Garrett, Joan Hickman, Debbie Hymore-Tester, Kyle Johannsen, Bill Moon, Commander Jerry Nauert, Rich Norgard, Dr. John Smothers, Alex Thomas