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World War II Lookout Tower
Ranked #11 of 60 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
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Schenectady, New York, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013

It was a great learning experience for the family, It showed just how difficult the military had to deal with the enemy as compared to todays technology in the services.
A must see

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Victoria D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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233 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Kenilworth, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
Reviewed 8 August 2013 via mobile

I thanked the people working there for keeping this open. It is a well preserved piece of history. I loved the informational tour and the views were amazing. A great stop while visiting Cape May for sure!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Hawaiianskirt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Lots of history, easy climb”
Reviewed 3 August 2013 via mobile

This place is great! I was worried about the climb, but they have exhibits throughout it which makes for great places to stop and take a break. Lots of history and a great view of both the light house and the concrete boat.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank travelingswans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Interesting place, great views and easy climb”
Reviewed 29 July 2013

As others have noted, there is a nice view of the Cape May lighthouse from the observation deck. The stairs were relatively wide and the ascent (and descent, too) was gradual rather than steep. The kids liked the climb.

There are interesting military-themed art works throughout and also a helpful guide at the top to answer questions you might have.

We found plenty of free parking across the street.

The Lighthouse is pretty close by, only a few minutes away by car.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Travel613NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Nicely curated piece of history...”
Reviewed 26 July 2013

If you are on your way to Sunset Beach at Cape May, the concrete lookout tower is on the left about 500 meters before you get to Sunset Beach. Just park on the side of the road and you can swing through in about 20 minutes. Similar view, but less crowded than the lighthouse. It is interesting to see how WWII impacted the eastern seaboard of the US. It's nice to see a little history preserved and teaching rather than just rotting away.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Kaiserja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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