You are here

Erie Land Lighthouse

-A A +A
1867. Front St. between Dunn Blvd. and Lighthouse St.

Lighthouses continue to capture our imaginations out of proportion to their modern usefulness. They evoke a sense of urgency as we picture a fogbound ship bleating its horn and searching desperately for sight of land. Most ships today use sophisticated navigational systems, so it is only the smaller craft that continue to depend on the distinctive light patterns that lighthouses use to warn sailors and inform them of their location.

The first lighthouse on the Great Lakes was built on this site in 1818. The Erie Land Lighthouse is the third on this site east of Erie's public docks; the first two having given way to the stream of quicksand below the surface. It is a forty-foot-high tower of Berea sandstone with a six-foot-diameter interior that is essentially a brick-lined tube with cast-iron stairs circling upward to the light. The handsome tawny-colored lighthouse with minimalist Romanesque-inspired detailing was operational for thirty-two years. In 2003, Erie masonry restoration specialists Fiske and Sons restored the exterior and a functioning, historically accurate lantern room was installed. Five new interpretive panels and a restored view to the lake enhance the educational experience.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
×

Data

What's Nearby

Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "Erie Land Lighthouse", [Erie, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-ER33.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 497-497.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,