SULLIVANS ISLAND -- The last major lighthouse built in the United States is 50 years old this year.
And the National Park Service is considering ways to keep Charleston Light on Sullivans Island shining well into the future.
When the light was commissioned in 1962, it was the second-brightest in the Western Hemisphere. It was so bright, island residents complained and the light was dimmed.
They also didn't like its orange-red color, so the tower was painted black and white. The Coast Guard turned the light over to the park service four years ago.
There's no public access inside the tower because of lead paint.
One of several alternatives being considered would be to repaint and perhaps, one day, provide public access to the lantern room atop the tower.
The Associated Press