The brightest light on the Oregon coast is shining once again.
After two years of restoration to repair more than a century’s worth of damage, the Heceta Head Lighthouse is open to visitors as of this past Saturday. Originally constructed in 1893 (with its five-wick kerosene lantern first lit in 1894), it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department preservation architect Sue Licht and a team of more than 100 craftspeople, the majority of them Oregonians, tackled repairs that included restoring the tower’s historic metalwork and masonry, replacing the windows, repairing the rotating lens mechanism, repainting, removing cement stucco, and reconditioning the original wood floor of the workroom. The structure is now restored to resemble as closely as possible its original 1894 condition.
The restoration project garnered a 2013 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award from the Oregon Heritage Commission, which declared it “an exceptional example of an extensive, successful restoration project of a historically significant structure.”
Heceta Head State Scenic Viewpoint is located 12 miles north of Florence off of U.S. 101. The lighthouse is open for tours daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; a $5 day-use parking permit, State Parks camping receipt, or Oregon Pacific Coast Passport is required to park at the State Scenic Viewpoint.