My family went down to the ship canal in Duluth on Monday and noticed that the north pier light was being worked on. The light itself was wrapped up, and all the glass had been removed. The entire black upper portion of the light had been painted with grey primer. Three men in hard hats, one up on top, were at work.
The little door at the bottom of the light was open and we could see the little stairway inside. In over 35 years we had never seen that door open!
We went inside the Canal Park Museum and talked to the fellow at the information desk, a employee of the U.S. Corp of Engineering. He told us that they are in the process of updating the lights themselves on both piers, north and south. They are taking out the old Fresnel lenses out and replacing them with maintenance free plastic enclosed lights. He informed us that the U.S. Coastguard (which maintains the lighthouses) does not have the resources to maintain the lights as they are now.
One of the lights being removed is more than 100 years old.
We were sorry to see the old lights being removed. They have yet to change over the south pier light.