Lighthouse Committee Looks To Restore Landmark

The most photographed landmark on the coast is about to get some renewed attention. The Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce wants to spruce up the lighthouse. And the group has big plans for the historic structure.

The popular tourist attraction represents the character of the coast. A post-Katrina Biloxi lighthouse is seen as a symbol of strength which withstood the storm's fury.

"To us, it's important that this lighthouse be cleaned up and polished up and put back in shape," said Sandy Steckler.

That's why the chancery judge agreed to chair the "Light the Lighthouse" committee for the Biloxi Bay Chamber.

"It is a part of Biloxi. It's one of Biloxi's greatest icons. Anytime you think of Biloxi, you kind of think of the lighthouse," said Steckler.

Replacing the flood lights which shine on the tower is one important part of the project. But that's just the beginning.

"We need to landscape. And we need to redo the traffic control signals in such a way the traffic and poles won't interfere with people trying to take pictures of it," he explained.

Along with the base lighting and landscaping, the inside of the 60 foot tower also needs repairs.

"The inside has some damage. There's some brick work that needs to be redone. Some work on the stairs and some hatches that I think need to be worked on," he said.

Two months before the storm, WLOX News reported on some big plans for the lighthouse. After being off limits for four years, the city was about to resume public tours inside this historic structure. But, like so many things on the coast, Katrina interrupted those plans.

Judge Steckler says now, more than ever, the lighthouse symbolizes the strength of the coast and its people.

"The lighthouse has been a grand old lady that has withstood so many storms. And we want to see it withstand all that will come in the future."