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Sunday, April 21, 2024

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World War II Lookout Tower Dedicated in Grand Ceremony

 

By Jack Fichter

SUNSET BEACH — Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) dedicated Fire Control Tower No. 23, a World War II lookout tower, on Armed Forces Day, Saturday May 16.
A ribbon was cut as a giant flag was lowered from the tower’s roof and white doves released. About a dozen, local World War II veterans attended the event.
MAC Director Michael Zuckerman gave a “12 step” history of how the tower was saved and restored with help from a number of agencies and individuals including Lower Township’s grant director Colleen Crippen, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Sen. Jeff Van Drew, the state Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Historical Commission, New Jersey Historic Trust and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
Architect Robert Russell explained the difficult process of installing a spiral staircases in the tower to get visitors to the sixth floor.
The U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Band played before the start of the ceremony. A large, enthusiastic crowd attending the ceremony and then crossed Sunset Boulevard to take a tour of the tower.
The tower that was once used to spot enemy ships during World War II and aim large guns here. The cylindrical, concrete tower underwent an initial $1.3 million restoration.
The tower was built in June 1942 by using a sliding tube-shaped form.

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