Superior's Iconic Lighthouse Goes Up for Auction

The Superior Entry Light is being sold at auction. The Superior Entry Light is being sold at auction. |  Photo: Provided by General Services Administration

Jon Ellis
Updated: July 17, 2019 03:09 PM

Anyone who has ever dreamed of owning a Twin Ports lighthouse now has a chance.

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The federal General Services Administration is auctioning off the Superior Entry Light, located at the end of Wisconsin Point, with a starting bid of $10,000.  The lighthouse can only be accessed by water or by climbing over the rocks leading to the breakwater on which the lighthouse is built.

The facility includes a two-story living quarters, a basement, and a light tower.  It was completed in 1913.

The breakwater will remain owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the buyer will have to reach a lease agreement with the Corps before closing on the purchase of the lighthouse. Additionally, the navigation light will remain active and the U.S. Coast Guard will retain an access easement to service the light.

The GSA's auction website notes that "the condition of the property is not warranted."  A recent visit to the site found broken, graffiti-covered plastic on the outside of boarded-up windows, with some window cavities filled with empty beer cans.

The auction comes six years after the GSA announced it would make the light available for free to government or nonprofit groups that would use it for educational, recreational, cultural or historic preservation purposes.  A report issued in 2014 said the GSA received one expression of interest in the Superior Entry Light, but no deal was ever announced.

A decade ago, the GSA sold the Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Inner Light Tower near the Aerial Lift Bridge to a private buyer.  Last year, the GSA announced it is looking for a government or nonprofit group to take over the Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Outer Light.

The GSA also announced auctions Monday for the Ontonagon Breakwater Light and the The Poe Reef Light, both in Michigan.  The auctions are being conducted online at

The auctions are a result of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, which has seen 139 lighthouses sold or transferred out of federal ownership since 2000.  The sales have generated more than $7.5 million.

This story has been updated to correct the name of the General Services Administration.


Jon Ellis

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