Bodie Island Lighthouse Will Open To Public

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BODIE ISLAND, N.C. (AP) -- The Bodie Island Lighthouse is all dressed up and ready to accept visitors for the first time.

The lighthouse on North Carolina's Outer Banks opens Friday, as does the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse has undergone a four-year, $5 million restoration. Until now, only lighthouse keepers, family members and a few others have been allowed to climb the 214 steps to the top.

The tower was built in 1872 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's one of the few with its original first order Fresnel lens, an encasement of prisms more than 6 feet in diameter that magnifies and sends the light toward the sea.

Free tickets are available to both lighthouses Friday on a first-come, first-served basis.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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