October 17, 2013

Kittery council votes to allow restoration of life-saving station

A nonprofit eventually wants to convert the relic into a museum.

By Tom Bell tbell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The Kittery Town Council voted 5-1 Wednesday to allow a nonprofit group to restore the Wood Island Life Saving Station.

The agreement calls for the town to apply for funding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to clean hazardous materials from the station. The nonprofit Wood Island Life Saving Station Association will support that application and apply for permits for the restoration work, said Sam Reid, the group’s president.

Reid said the group will begin a campaign to raise the $500,000 needed to restore the exterior of the station, the area around the building and the sea wall. The group eventually wants to convert the relic into a museum.

The U.S. Life Saving Service, the predecessor of the Coast Guard, built the station in 1908.

The Navy took it over during World War II to protect the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from German submarines.

Maine Preservation listed the station last year as one of the state’s most endangered historic resources.

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