Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Announces the Point Conception Lighthouse Lens Exhibit is Complete

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) announced today that the relocation and restoration of the historic Point Conception Lighthouse Lens is complete, and the finished exhibit is now open to the public in the lens’ new, permanent home in the museum’ main gallery.

Built in 1856, the Point Conception Lighthouse is one of the earliest California lighthouses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its lens is First Order—the largest illuminating lens of the Fresnel system—and projects a beam with a 26-mile reach into the most perilous waters of the California Coast. Ensuring its survival and preservation, SBMM has restored this endangered piece of local history and now presents it to the community in the form of an exhibit, along with associated youth and adult educational programming.

According to USCG Curator, Arlyn Danielson: “In order to preserve the lens for future interpretation and enjoyment by the general public, it [has been] made available to the SBMM for education, interpretation, and preservation purposes…SBMM has been chosen because it has demonstrated a high level of enthusiasm to interpret the lens from a local, regional, and national perspective…SBMM also has the appropriate staff resources to care for and preserve this lens for future generations.”

SBMM was awarded a grant by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in the amount of $10,000 on May 1, 2013. Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of Mission Canyon Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, located in Santa Barbara, CA. This generous donation contributes to the $500,000 being raised by SBMM to complete the project.

Phase I of this project began with a USCG approved team of lampists carefully disassembling the lens and removing it from the historic Point Conception Lighthouse. Funds granted by DAR supported Phase II of the project, which included the restoration and reassembly and of the lens’ large glass panels and supportive structures within the museum’s main gallery. During the final phases of the project, the exhibit’s interpretative elements, as well as associated artifact displays, were designed and installed by SBMM’s Curator, Emily Falke, in collaboration with outside consultants and exhibit fabricators. The official opening and celebration for this exhibit will be held at the museum on September 21, 2013.

SBMM Executive Director, Greg Gorga, states: “SBMM thanks the Daughters of the American Revolution for its support of this project, which will not only preserve a National Registered Landmark, but also makes this artifact available for viewing by the public for the first time.”

The DAR grants program was started in 2010. Funding is awarded to support projects in local communities that promote the organization’s mission areas of historic preservation, education and patriotism.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation’s children. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With nearly 170,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit For more about applying for a Special Projects Grant from DAR, visit

For more information, please contact SBMM Executive Director, Greg Gorga at 805-962-8404 ext.103 or visit


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