Key West Lighthouse . Key West . Florida . Watercolor . 12" x 9"
... the first Key West Lighthouse was built at Whitehead's Point, at the very bottom of the Florida Keys in 1826. It was a 65-foot, tappered brick, cylindrical tower, originally illuminated by 15 whale oil lamps. A hurricaine took it down in 1846. The second light was a 30-foot tall tripod with a beacon, which lasted until the third and current tower was built on a slight hill, further inland. This new tower, completed in 1848, was 50-feet tall and carried a third-order Fresnel lens. In 1872, 5 more feet and a new lantern room were added to the tower. New keeper's quarters and ancillary structures were built in 1887 and in 1892, another 20-feet were added to the tower's height... with a conversion to acetylene light in 1915. The US Coast Guard acquired the lighthouse in 1939 and turned control of the facility over to the Key West Art and Historical Society in 1966. The light was deactivated in 1969. The site is open to the public and this is how she looked in June, during my 2017 road trip.