This is the Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station. Kristin and I stumbled upon it after driving south on Route 12 in the Outer Banks shortly after our visit to the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
We pulled into the parking lot expecting a historical site or museum, but found nothing of the sort - just dunes. Oh, and horseflies. Lots of horseflies. We weaved through the dunes to arrive at the structure we’d seen from the road. It was overtaken by the sand, and the once-tall fence now came up to about our calves. Fortunately the structure was put up on stilts to avoid further damage. Turns out it has been abandoned since 1988 (having been in service since 1897)! What a great site to see.
Read more about this station on hamptonroads.com and on Wikipedia.