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Bids for light tower close Dec. 1

Your chance to own a historic Duluth waterfront property is quickly coming to an end. The federal government has set a soft closing date of Dec. 1 for the online auction of the south breakwater light tower next to the Aerial Lift Bridge. Unless a...

Your chance to own a historic Duluth waterfront property is quickly coming to an end.

The federal government has set a soft closing date of Dec. 1 for the online auction of the south breakwater light tower next to the Aerial Lift Bridge. Unless a final bid is received Dec. 1, the auction will close at 2 p.m. If a final bid is received, the auction will continue day-to-day until no further bids are received.

The U.S. General Services Administration received three bids since the light went on the auction block Sept. 16. The high bid is $16,000.

The winner bidder has to agree to several conditions. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a new owner must maintain the structure's historic designation and conduct a photographic survey. The owner must get a lease from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before the property is transferred. The winning bidder must obtain written approval from the government before making any alterations or improvements to the property. And the Coast Guard would reserve an unrestricted right to enter the structure to service, replace or move the still-operating aids to navigation.

The tower, properly called the "Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Inner Light Tower," is 67 feet tall. Its white, iron lantern room supported by a black steel framework and a central cylinder housing a cast-iron, cylindrical stair. The tower's light was first lit in 1901.

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The federal government decided last year that it no longer needs the 107-year-old light, a relic of the time be-fore radio, radar and GPS. The government made the tower available at no cost to any qualifying government agency, nonprofit, school or community development organization willing to use it for educational, recreational or historic preservation purposes. But with no takers, the USGSA decided to put it on the auction block.

Six potential bids put down $5,000 deposits to tour the lighthouse on Sept. 11.

For more information on the auction, go to www.auctionrp.com and click on the icon over Duluth's location on the map.

Related Topics: AERIAL LIFT BRIDGE
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