Chicago Harbor Lighthouse

USA - Illinois - Chicago Harbor Lighthouse


Chicago Harbor Lighthouse
Built in 1893, the Chcago Harbor Lighthouse is the only surviving lighthouse in Chicago and one fo the only tow remaining in illinois.  The lighthouse symbolically marks the Chicago harbor and its maritime transportation.  Itt was renovated and moved to its present location along Chicago’s shore line, just east of Navy Pier in 1917,  A sculpture, The Spirit of the Waters, located near City Hall, commemorates the importance of the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse.

Lighthouse Friends history, click here

Chicago Harbor1893 (relocated to the breakwater in 1919). Active; focal plane 82 ft (25 m); red flash every 5 s. 48 ft (14.5 m) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, sandwiched between two 1-story buildings (a fog signal building and a boathouse). Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof black; the building roofs are red. The original 3rd order Fresnel lens, exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, is still in use. Keeper’s quarters incorporated in the tower. Pat and Ellen Prather’s photo is at the top of this page, a fine 2007 photo is available, Anderson has an excellent page with good photos, Schultheiss has an excellent photo by Dave Wobser, has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. A unique lighthouse: its design is similar to that of the offshore sparkplug towers, but this tower is taller. The lighthouse was originally built at the Chicago River entrance, where it replaced a lighthouse in service 1832-1852; the fog signal building and boathouse were added during relocation. The tower was restored by the Coast Guard in 1997. In 2005 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA. The City of Chicago applied for ownership, and after an unusually long period of consideration the Interior Department approved that application in February 2009. Located at the south end of the north harbor breakwater, about 1 km (0.6 mi) east of the Southeast Guidewall Light. There are good views from the Navy Pier or from harbor sightseeing cruises; the lighthouse can be seen distantly from many places on the Chicago lakefront. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-171; USCG 7-19960. – Lighthouse Directory

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