Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Principal Keeper's Dwelling, Point of Cape Hatteras, Access Road from Route 12, Buxton, Dare County, NC
- Upscale 2x7680x5526
Significance: Following the completion of the new Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in 1870, the construction of a dwelling for the lighthouse's third keeper was approved, making use of the surplus of 50,000 bricks at the site. Built of load-bearing brick masonry, with wood framing used for the floors, interior partitions, and roof, the Principal Keeper's Quarters was ready for occupancy in April 1871. L-shaped in plan, the quarters consisted of a one-and-one-half story main block, with two rooms on each floor flanking a central stair hall, and a one-story kitchen wing extending to the east. A brick cistern was constructed immediately north of the building in 1875. In 1927, a two-story wood-frame addition was constructed, consisting of a room on each floor. The addition filled in the northeast corner of the building, giving it an essentially rectangular footprint in plan.
The last keeper to occupy the Principal Keeper's Quarters moved out in 1932. The building subsequently served as housing for a Civilian Conservation Corps company. Jurisdiction for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and its associated structures was transferred from the United States Lighthouse Board to the National Park Service in 1936, with Cape Hatteras National Seashore designated by Congress the following year. A new entrance, with exterior stair, was installed at the building's interior stair landing level about 1940. Following World War II, the quarters functioned as a concessions rental. In 1985-87, an extensive renovation of the building was undertaken, which included the removal of the exterior stairs, and the installation of wallboard with wood battens as the interior finish. In 1999, the house, along with the other light station structures, was moved approximately half a mile due to seacoast erosion. As of 2016, the Principal Keeper's Quarters was used as support space for Cape Hatteras National Seashore staff.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N2233
Survey number: HABS NC-357-B
Building/structure dates: 1870- 1871 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1932 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: ca. 1940 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1985-1987 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1999 Subsequent Work
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 78000266