Gay Head Lighthouse makes 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list

26th annual list includes famed Martha's Vineyard lighthouse
Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah. Photo by Walter Brooks.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation released their 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list this week.  It is the 26th annual release by the organization and this year includes Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard.

The list includes interesting places from coast to coast and everywhere in between including the Abyssinian Meeting House in Portalnd, ME, the Worldport Terminal at JFK Airport in New York and the Kake Cannery in Arizona.

The lighthouse is in "immediate danger" due to erosion, according to the organization. The light, the first on the vineyard, was first established in 1799 and the current tower was built in 1856. It was one of the first lighthouses to have a first order Fresnel light in 1856.  The red brick light is perched atop the beautiful red clay cliffs.

Two Cape Cod lighthouse have made the move from the edge of the perilous ocean--Cape Cod (Highland) Lighthouse in North Truro in 1996 and Nauset Lighthouse in North Eastham in 1996.

The Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah is the only Massachusetts site to be named to the list.

Gay Head Light is the first specific site to appear on the list. Cape Cod itself appeared on the list in 1994 and Nantucket made the list in 2000.

The Washington, DC-based National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately-funded non profit, according to their website.


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