Help needed

Replacing the roof, gutters, and repointing the chimneys and repairing historic soffits and fascia on the house of the Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse will cost about $91,000.

According to David Briska, vice president of the Lighthouse Board, “We have grant money to start the project, but are short about $20,000.”

The grant is a dollar-for-dollar match, so in effect a contribution to the organization doubles.

Briska emphasized how much the organization has already accomplished.

“We have completed the one section of wall to protect the corner of the property; we have replaced the landscape wall near the house. We have painted the windows on the front of the house and are working our way around the whole house. We have painted most of the downstairs in the house, and are finishing up the living room – it will be done by May 1st. The inside of the tower, and the observation deck have been painted. We have painted all the closets/displays on the second floor. We are cleaning up the brush on the property giving us a better view of the lake. We have remodeled the inside of the Maritime building (the store), adding a new entrance and improved the flow in and out of that building,” he said.

Because the building is historical, the current asphalt shingle roof, which is at least 40 years old, will be replaced by a slate roof. The group does have a couple of pieces from the original roof and are working with experts to match the grayish charcoal color.

In a letter to potential donors, Michael Vinciguerra, board president wrote, “The Yankee gutters will be made out of copper. The chimneys need to be rebuilt to prevent them from continuing to leak and damage the ceilings and walls on the second floor. The soffits and fascia need to be repaired to prevent animals from entering the attic and destroying the structure.”

Vinciguerra notes that the work has the approval of the New York State Historical Registry. Bids have been accepted and work should begin on May 1.

The board wants to continue to improve the buildings to protect the artifacts and displays housed there. Thousands of visitors visit the site each year.

“Any help that can be given is appreciated,” said Briska.

Donations are tax-deductible. Those who wish to donate online may go to the website: and click on the Roofing Project Donate button on the homepage. Donations can also be made by mail to Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse and Veteran’s Park Museum, 1 Lighthouse Point Drive, P.O. Box 69, Dunkirk, NY 14048-0069.

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