150 views 7-18-2011
Featured in “All About Lighthouses” 6-6-2011
Featured in “New To Vintage” 5-13-2011
Featured in “The World As we See It, or as we missed it” 5-1-2011
This lighthouse, owned and operated by the United States Coast Guard, is an active aid to navigation. The steel tower has a squareBalcony and “round cast iron lantern room [that] features helical astragals” in the lantern. The two-story steel lighthouse keeper’s quarters are in the art deco style. The structure rests on a 60 feet (18 m) by 54 feet (16 m) concrete pier, which rises more than 20 feet (6.1 m) above the lake’s surface. The tower rests 14 feet (4.3 m) above the second floor and is 53 feet (16 m) tall overall. The red light has a focal plane of 67 feet (20 m) feet above Lake Michigan. The lantern and parapet are painted black.
The structure is near the middle of the four-mile-long Milwaukee breakwater. It is built to withstand heavy weather and waves when Lake Michigan becomes roughest. The building is made of quarter-inch “steel plates over a steel skeletal frame, and is equipped with windows and portholes with glass a full half inch in thickness.” The structure was originally painted red, but became white thereafter.
In 1926, the original fourth order Fresnel lens was transferred from the Milwaukee Pierhead Light.The “helical barred lantern is also thought to have come from the pierhead light”. The lens was removed in 1994, and is now an exhibit in Manitowoc at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
The resident lighthouse keepers serviced not only this light, but all of the lights in the harbor, however boat launching and landing from this structure was especially risky. A list of keepers is available.
The light is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the state list.