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“Lookout Tower #23”

World War II Lookout Tower
Ranked #11 of 59 things to do in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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
Chatham, New Jersey
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Lookout Tower #23”
Reviewed June 19, 2013

Overlooke piece of WW II history. You do not need a lot of time to see the exhibits, they are well maintained and interesting The tower volunteers are knowledgeable and friendly.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank DBGJW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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227 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Bergenfield, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Give history a try”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

I really loved the tower, 100 less steps then the lighthouse. the view was great. The men working there was nice and full of info. less people there then the lighthouse.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bear, Delaware
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“More than meets the eye”
Reviewed June 10, 2013

The tower is like a vertical museum and explains the towers' uses as fire control stations for the heavy naval guns positioned across the bay. It's a fun activity and our son loves the steps!

Helpful?
Thank Erik C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freehold
Level Contributor
108 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Lonely but Upstanding”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

A little ways away from Cape May lighthouse is this WWII memorial. It is free from the outside. A nostalgic look at our pass.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“great views”
Reviewed June 1, 2013

It was nice to walk around the area & even saw the wild asparagus & cactus growing while reading about the history. I had to stay outside with our dog but my husband went to the top & took photos for us.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Anitak53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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