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Old Point Loma Lighthouse

  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Structure

Illuminating the Past

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855, the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. What seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, had a serious flaw. Fog and low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891, the light was extinguished and the keeper moved to a new lighthouse location closer to the water at the tip of the Point. - NPS



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1845/04/00 US Lighthouse Board Developer Contracted for $15,000, construction begins on the Point Loma Lighthouse. At a height of 462 feet, Point Lomas light will become the nation's highest.
1855/11/15 The lamp of the Point Loma Lighthouse is lit, and the light from a third-order Fresnel lens shines out to sea. The cost of the lighthouse was almost $30,000.
1891/03/23 Robert Decatur Israel Work Keeper Robert Israel closes the old lighthouse and moves his family to the new one closer to the sea.
1935/00/00 US National Park Service Architect National Park Service restores Old Point Loma Lighthouse
1942/00/00 After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, gun batteries and submarine spotters are established on Point Loma's summit. The lighthouse is painted camouflage green and is used as a signal tower to direct ships into San Diego Harbor.

Data »

Particulars for Old Point Loma Lighthouse:
Area of Significance Architecture
Criteria Architecture-Engineering
Other Description Cape Cod
Owner Federal
Criteria Historic Event
Level of Significance Local
Historic Use Single dwelling
Sight Category Structure
Area of Significance Transportation
Historic Use Water-related

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 27th June 1974

Registry Name: Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Registry Address: Included in Cabrillo National Monument
Registry Number: 74000350
Resource Type: Structure
Owner: Federal
Architectural Style: Other
Attribute: Cape Cod
Contributing Structures: 1
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Monument
Level of Significance: Local
Area of Significance: Transportation, Architecture
Applicable Criteria: Event, Architecture-Engineering
Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1875-1899
Significant Year: 1854, 1855, 1891
Historic Function: Domestic, Transportation
Historic Sub-Function: Water-related, Single dwelling
Current Function: Vacant, not in use, Landscape
Current Sub-Function: Park

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