Connecticut was one of the original 13 colonies. We were established as a colony way back in 1636. We helped fight for American independence. We became a state in 1788 – the 5th one to join the union. And we’ve been cruising along ever since.
As you might imagine, after almost 230 years as a US state, there is some history here. The buildings, the land, the artifacts – all of it tells Connecticut’s story.
At least, it tries to. Sometimes, despite the value of historic artifacts and landmarks, the cruel world of cold, hard cash intervenes. Some amount of money comes along and outweighs the value of historic significance. And that’s how a 131-year-old lighthouse in Connecticut is about to become a glorified treehouse for a rich guy’s grandchildren.
According to The New York Post, New York developer Frank Sciame and an anonymous partner bought the lighthouse in Fenwick, Connecticut for 290,000 in 2015. Now they’re planning to turn the four-story structure into a playhouse for their grandkids. Here’s what the new layout will look like, according to the report:
“Plans call for a first-floor entrance foyer with storage, a second-floor master cabin, a kids’ cabin with bunk beds on the third floor, and a fourth-floor “salon” — a living room area with a sofa, end tables and a coffee table — and a galley kitchen. The fifth floor will feature a bar and an outdoor deck with a wraparound balcony that boasts a 360-degree view of the Long Island Sound and Connecticut River.”
Look, I honestly have no problem with Sciame and his partner. They bought the thing, the own it, and they have the right to do whatever they want with their property. If they want to turn history into a jungle gym, who am I to say they shouldn’t.
My problem is with the US General Services Administration, which auctioned it off in the first place. I don’t know if this lighthouse has any real historic significance. I doubt anything super monumental happened there. But that’s still a historic structure that somehow withstood 131 years of passing time and hurricanes Sandy and Irene. Maybe, just maybe, that’s something worth preserving for preservation’s sake.
But since it apparently is not, it might be worth trying to get your kids to be friends with this guy’s grandkids. We may be losing some nuggets of history, but that’s no reason to deprive your kid of the world’s coolest playdate or yourself of that rooftop bar with 360-degree views!