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“Neat history-knowledgeable volunteers”

World War II Lookout Tower
Ranked #10 of 60 things to do in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Fire Control Tower No. 23 is New Jersey’s last remaining restorable World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles, playing a major part in coastal defenses. Built in 1942, the tower was one of 15 towers that helped aim batteries of coastal artillery, stretching from North Wildwood, N.J. to Bethany Beach, DE. Four were in Cape May County, N.J.—the towers located in North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest were torn down and a third tower is located inside Cape May’s Grand Hotel, Beach and Philadelphia avenues. Fire Control Tower No. 23 is on land now part of the Cape May Point State Park. The tower was listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places on May 29, 2003 and on the National Register on Nov. 17, 2003. The Tower was restored in 2008-09 by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). The project included: building spiral staircases in the Tower so that the public can safely climb to the top; construction of a wooden walkway from the street to the Tower, and a deck around its base, to preserve the fragile dune environment; replacing the missing windows and doors; recreating historical details, such as the original wooden ladders, and outfitting the watch room and viewing platform at the top; installing interpretive panels along the walkway and at every level in the Tower; introducing lighting and safety alarms; and upgrading the existing parking lot across Sunset Boulevard and connecting it with a cross-walk to the Tower. Robert Russell of Holt Morgan Russell was the restoration architect. This project was funded by three agencies that awarded MAC grants totalling $1.3 million: the New Jersey Historic Trust, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The 3rd level of the Tower features a "Wall of Honor" with then-and-now photographs of over 100 area World War II veterans. In 2012, an "All Veterans Memorial" was erected on the deck at the base of the Tower. The boardwalk, lined with interpretive panels, the All Veterans Memorial on the deck at the base of the Tower and the entry level are all fully accessible
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed July 22, 2012

My daughter insists on stopping here every time we visit Cape May. Although I do think it should be a donation optional attraction, the volunteers are wonderful and do a terrific job explaining the history of this historic landmark.

Thank Barb C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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234 - 238 of 253 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2012

This was one of the coolest things Ive seen at Cape May. I have never seen any of these in any of the other Jersey shore beaches.Its one of a kind!! You do have to climb up a lot of stairs, but you can take little breaks and look at some cool history stuff about world war 2 and about the tower. When you get to the top you feel accomplished, and look at the amazing view as your reward!! It really teaches you some cool history and makes you jealous that some guys got to spend a lot of time up there!!

Thank Ryan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2012

not happy to have to pay to bring my 5 year old and 7 year old into the tower (which never was used)...the info outside is pretty cool, but we had a better time at the lighthouse and sunset beach

Thank Christine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2012

If you are going to do the Lighthouse and Sunset Beach, get this ticket as a combo with the lighthouse since it's in between the two. It's an interesting piece of NJ WWII history that no one taught us in school. Stairs only but an easier climb than the lighthouse with broad landings with WWII information. There is also a great view of the concrete ship, lighthouse, and bottom tip of the Cape.

1  Thank EV8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2012

This was an interesting stop during our visit to Cape May. Who knew there was so much WW2 history in this area?

Thank TantmaRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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