The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse has been standing tall on San Simeon’s shoreline for practically 150 years. Now, its unique lens that sits in Cambria, is at risk of structural harm.
Ryan Cooper is with the Bureau of Land Administration. We met at Piedras Blancas again in November.
“That rock, that is our namesake. That is Piedra Blanca, it means White Rock,” Cooper stated.
It was a shiny sunny day in San Simeon with the lighthouse towering over us. He was exhibiting me round when he pointed at massive rocks sitting within the ocean water, surrounded by marine animals.
“…And that is proper now lined in 1000’s of birds and there is some sea lions on the underside,” Cooper stated.
Cooper stated the lighthouse was in-built 1875 to assist mariners navigate the coast.
“They did not have all of the electronics and the know-how that now we have at the moment,” Cooper stated.
However the lighthouse isn’t used for navigation anymore. What was as soon as a useful piece of equipment, is now an exquisite reminiscence.
The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is just not preserved precisely the way it was in 1875. Its unique lens now resides in Cambria, below safety of SLO County’s Coast Guard and the Cambria Lion’s Membership.
Cooper described it poetically.
“I all the time known as it a murals. It is a 150 yr outdated piece of equipment, it is lovely. The forged iron and the glass that is all been superbly floor down. It is price a glance to go test it out,” Cooper stated.
The lens used to sit down unprotected and out within the open. Now it sits in its personal room known as the Lens Lantern Room, a window enclosure positioned across the lens to guard it from climate and vandalism.
Just lately the enclosure was inspected by a neighborhood engineer, Bruce Elster. He has engineered a number of the Central Coast’s most iconic landmarks, just like the Cayucos Pier.
In his engineers report he declared the Lens Lantern Room to be quote, “in a state of extreme deterioration,” unquote. Elster stated the room that’s meant to guard it’s deteriorating so quickly it is at risk of collapsing on the historic lens.
The Lens Lantern Room is almost 30 years outdated and made of sunshine gauge tube metal. Elster stated this implies it is not totally climate resistant.
“So primarily the enclosure is believed to be sitting on the concrete slab with none resistance to sliding or overturning that possibly generated from seismic or excessive wind occasions,” Elster stated.
Elster stated erosion is constructing all through the construction notably within the base due to heavy rain. And after the Central Coast was hit by a collection of atmospheric rivers, one of many panels on high of the enclosure flew off attributable to excessive winds.
He stated the enclosure will proceed to disintegrate and presumably collapse on the lens if we proceed to do nothing about it.
Elster stated there are alternative ways to deal with this downside. We are able to both ignore the harm and let it collapse on the lens, or ship it into an setting that gives security, safety, humidity, temperature and UV management.