Taking trips always makes me appreciate what’s at home, and this last jaunt the beach was no exception. Not that I didn’t enjoy the sand, water, and a chance for a break, but that all the new growth ocean-side made me relish being back in a town with some history. We’ve got in spades exactly what the beach town was trying to invent: a legitimate city center, remarkable historic buildings, and destinations for walking or riding. What they had? A fake lighthouse. Really.
It was lovely to climb up, afforded a view and a breeze on a wet blanket of a day, and allowed for a local history museum of displays on each landing – so I have no issues with it as a lighthouse or tower by any means. Instead, I have issue with it being presented as a historic feature, something comparable with Cape Hatteras or Ocracoke. A little googling tells me that it was built in the 1970s and modeled after one in England from two centuries earlier. To be fair, it wasn’t so much described as historic as it wasn’t described at all – so it was easy to assume, based on the form and the general histories of lighthouses on the coast. I should have been clued in by the paneling on the stair railing, I suppose!
Back at home, I’m thrilled to have the genuine history around me of the Lucky Strike tower and the Hill Building – one or the other could certainly claim to be Durham’s lighthouse, I think. And I’m busy pulling together the plans for two houses (one c.1890, the other c.1915) that are in process… authentic and contributing to our real city.