Restoration of Oregon Coast landmark 80 percent complete

Restoration of Oregon Coast landmark 80 percent complete

FLORENCE, Ore. - One of the most photographed landmarks on the West Coast is getting a facelift.

Major upgrades are well under way at the Heceta Head Lighthouse.

The lighthouse - subject of many beautiful and breathtaking photographs - and soon will be looking better than ever.

Contractors have been busy since February on this $1.4 million project.  

"The public has understood that it needs to be restored," Project Director Kevin Beck of the Oregon State Parks Department told KVAL News, "and it's been kind of non-stop construction."

Crews started with the stained and cracked stucco on the outside. That's all been replaced.  

Next up: floors.

"The wood floor that we're standing on is the original wood floor to the lighthouse," Beck told KVAL News.

That will also be restored, along with an original redwood door frame leading to the lighthouse.

And wait until you see the brickwork.

"Different sections had been covered in paint and through the years," Beck said. "Layers of paint had been put on it. We removed all the old paint."

The lighthouse stairwell has been painted its original black color and upstairs, original windows will be put back in place in keeping with 1894 style.

The contractors know that behind the black cocoon-style covering on the lighthouse, they have to do their best work.

"Yeah, when I found out I was doing the project, I was pretty excited, to be honest," said Shane Rogers, the lead electrician on the project. "It's just been a real blessing to be a part of what I feel like is history."

State officials said the project is 80 percent finished, but much of the time-consuming detailed interior work is still left to do and will take several months to complete.

Beck said the plan is go have all the exterior work on the lighthouse done by the end of the year, with the lighthouse re-opening to the public by August 2013.