The Absecon Lighthouse – Absecon, NJ

The Absecon Lighthouse – Absecon, NJ

The Inlet Public/Private Association (IPPA) was established in 1988 to serve as an advocate for the revitalization of the Inlet section of Atlantic City. Comprised of a diverse coalition of residents, business people, governmental organizations and community leaders, IPPA successfully raised public awareness of both the needs and many attributes of the area. In 1993, the organization adopted the historic Absecon Lighthouse as a major focus of its energies. IPPA obtained a lease of the Lighthouse and its two-acre site from the New Jersey State Division of Parks and Forestry in 1996 and raised over $3.4 million to support its restoration. Now, IPPA’s stated mission is to: “Preserve, interpret and operate Absecon Lighthouse site. Educate the public of its rich history and advocate the successful redevelopment of the Lighthouse District.” 

In 1997, IPPA began the physical restoration of historic Absecon Lighthouse, New Jersey’s tallest, and the country’s third tallest. Work on the Lighthouse Tower was completed in 1998. The Tower was opened to the public in 1999, and the Keeper’s House museum and gift shop opened to visitors in October 2001. Restoration of the historic two-acre site was completed in 2003, making the Lighthouse and grounds accessible to the visiting public. Since the reopening of the Lighthouse tower in 1999, over 500,000 visitors have learned of its remarkable history. Exhibitions in the Keeper’s House provide access to rare historic photographs and offer an overview of the history of Absecon Lighthouse and its restoration. A TV shows 5 live views from the top. A curriculum-based educational program, “Sailors, Seafood and Life-Saving,” was introduced in 2000, serving elementary school teachers and students. A “Keeper Sleeper” sleepover program was implemented in 2004, teaching Lighthouse history to youth based organizations all over the tri-state area. An exhibit featuring the history of the first-order Fresnel Lens was installed in the old Oil House in 2007. “Wacky Wednesdays” summer maritime educational series was launched in 2008, and Atlantic City “Kids Light Up the Arts” educational series in 2010. A 21-bed community garden for First Ward residents was installed in 2012 and adds an amazing visual element to the 2 acre property. An extensive calendar of special events attracts new and repeat visitors, thus diversifying our audience. An investment of funding will ensure the continued operation of Absecon Lighthouse as a fully accessible historic site and a dynamic educational resource for New Jersey residents and visitors.


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