Cape Florida Lighthouse . Key Biscayne . Florida . Watercolor . 9" x 12"


... the original 65-foot tall, tapered, cylindrical, brick Cape Florida light tower and keeper's house were completed in 1825. The interior stairs of the tower was burned from the ground floor door, up into the lantern room in 1836, during a raid by angry, indigenous Seminole. As the Second Seminole War raged on, the tower stood derelict until 1847 and then in 1855; at the direction of U.S. Army engineer George Meade, the tower was rebuilt and height increased to 95 feet. However, the light was kept dark during the Civil War and not re-lit until 1866. By the 1920's, 90 feet of shoreline had eroded to within 10 feet of the tower base and the keeper's house had been decimated by hurricanes and storms. A jetty and protective seawall has since been erected. In 1966-67, the State of Florida purchased the property and surrounding area to establish the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew left the tower damaged once again... requiring extensive repairs in 1996. The light entered the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The Cape Florida light tower is open for climbing and a reconstructed keeper's house is a museum.



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