Buffalo Lighthouse Treasure

Buffalo Lighthouse, the Harbor Guardian and Gateway to Buffalo, New York, has been closed to the public since 9/11 for the security of a working Coast Guard base which protects the ports of Lake Ontario and the eastern harbors of Lake Erie.

Recently, Legislation sponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton may allow the Lighthouse Treasure of Buffalo to be reopened and open 20-acres of the 31-acre grounds at Lighthouse Point for use as a public waterfront park. The bill also requires the Coast Guard to relocate or restructure their unit.

Buffalo Lighthouse is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard who issued a license to the Buffalo Lighthouse Association for restoration and preservation in 1985. The volunteer group re-lighted the Lighthouse to open the first international Friendship Festival in 1987.

Buffalo “Main” Lighthouse (the second of four Buffalo Lights) was a working Lighthouse from 1833 to 1914 when the Lighthouse Board replaced the Light Station with the third Buffalo Light located at the end of the outer harbor breakwater. The 1833 Buffalo Lighthouse was illuminated by fifteen oil lamps with parabolic reflectors behind a crude green convex glass lens. The crude lens reduced the intensity of the light and were later removed. In 1856, the 61-feet high octagonal limestone Tower was refitted with a Third-order Fresnel Lens exhibiting a Fixed White Light 76-feet above lake level.

Due to the Lantern Room’s appearance resembling a fancy Chinese hat shape, the Great Lakes mariners nicknamed the Lighthouse, the “Chinaman’s Light” which was also the first landmark visible to lake vessels in the nineteenth century.

Currently, Buffalo Main Lighthouse is illuminated by a Fourth-order bivalve Fresnel lens and dimly lit at night as a historic beacon of Buffalo’s waterfront heritage. The Light is dim as a Symbolic Light which is not used by navigation.

blue_starMap Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Buffalo Main Lighthouse.

Related News Story:
Efforts mount to open Buffalo lighthouse to the public

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About Debbie Dolphin

Lighthouse author and photographer living in New England

Posted on September 6, 2007, in Preservation News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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