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Lighthouse At The Navy Pier
Photograph - Photography
The soft colors after sunset leave behind a pastel sky to set off the lighthouse at the Navy Pier in Chicago.
The Chicago Harbor Lighthouse is an automated active lighthouse, and stands at the end of the northern breakwater protecting the Chicago Harbor, to the east of Navy Pier and the mouth of the Chicago River.
It was constructed in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition and moved to its present site in 1919. The United States Lighthouse Board prominently displayed "its 'state of the art' wares and engineering achievements." Prominently featured was "the engineering marvel" of Spectacle Reef Light and a 111-foot-tall (34 m) skeletal cast iron lighthouse tower.
Also displayed were a number of Fresnel lenses, including a stunning Third Order Fresnel lens which previously was awarded first prize at a Paris glass exhibition. The lens featured alternating red and white panels, and had been ordered for installation in the new lighthouse at Point Loma Light (new) in California. The coincidental conclusion of construction of the new Chicago Harbor light and the close of the Exhibition prompted the Lighthouse Board keep the lens in Chicago, and thus the lens was installed in the lantern room of the new tower.
The design is "unique . . . similar to that of the offshore sparkplug towers, but this tower is taller." Except for the additions made at the time of the move, it "bears some resemblance" to the Rock of Ages Light near Isle Royale on Lake Superior, which is its contemporary.
The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 19, 1984, and later was designated a Chicago Landmark on April 9, 2003.
February 2nd, 2012
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