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Digital Production Studio Owner Pays Record Price For Boston Lighthouse

By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business Editor
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Graves Lighthouse in Boston Harbor. (WBZ-TV photo)

Graves Lighthouse in Boston Harbor. (WBZ-TV photo)

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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s being called the hottest auction in Boston history.

The government auction for the 110-year-old Graves Light in Boston Harbor started at just $30,000. A bidding war began, and the light was officially sold Friday afternoon for a record $994,000, the most every paid for a lighthouse in America.

The winner is Boston businessman Dave Waller, who owns Brickyard VFX on Newbury Street.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

“A friend of mine sent me an email about the auction,” Waller tells me, “and then the story popped up in the paper and a couple of other places, and I was one of those people who said ‘Wow – we ought to get a lighthouse!'”

“My wife and I bought an old fire station that had burned down and fixed it up, and turned it into a nice house. We looked at the lighthouse as a project that might be doable, because we had a little experience with a historic building.”

Waller tells me the venerable lighthouse is in tough shape.

“It was built in 1905, and it’s definitely been hammered by the ocean and the wind,” he says. “But it’s not really going anywhere. It’s bolted to the rocks underneath it. I think it will be fine.”

Waller says he’s not sure what their long term plans are for Graves Light.

“The easy thing to do would be to turn it into a vacation home. But the more we learn about it, the more possibilities emerge about what to do with it. We want to work with all the people that have a stake in Boston Harbor — the Boston Harbor Alliance, Friends of the Harbor, the National Park Service, the Coast Guard — and just try to get a meeting of the minds about what would be the best way to move forward that’s going to preserve it, because it really is a special place.”

Waller says he knows he’s paying a high price for Graves Light, but he puts it in perspective: “If it were on Nantucket, it would be the cheapest house on the island, and it’s 9 miles from Boston.”

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