The first lighthouse located here was built in 1855, but was replaced by part of the present light tower in1888. The light is the original marking for the entrance to the Milwaukee River.
In 1888, a 39-foot octagonal cast-iron tower and the 2-1/2 story frame keeper's dwelling were built to replaced an 1855 brick structure that was closer to the beach and threatened by erosion. The Fourth Order Fresnel lens, manufactured by Benard & Turenne of Paris, consists of four 90-degree panels that create a flash pattern as they rotate.
In 1908, it was determined that surrounding trees were beginning to block the light. A new steel structure was built next to the light and the existing cast-iron tower was placed on top the new 35-foot structure. The new light tower is 74 feet tall and produces a light 154 above the level of Lake Michigan and is visible up to 21 miles. It is easy to see the joint where the two sections were put together.
Located in Lake Park, 3 miles north of downtown Milwaukee, on Wahl Street off North Terrace Drive.
The former keepers dwelling is closed, but the grounds are open to the public.
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