Cape Florida Lighthouse, May, 2001
The Cape Florida Lighthouse was built on the southern tip of Key Biscayne in 1825, making it the oldest building in the Miami area. The lighthouse still stands, having survived Indian attacks and the devastating force of many hurricanes.
In 1855, the lighthouse was extended from 65 feet to 95 feet. If you look closely at the photograph, you can see the line at about two thirds the way to the top where the new section was added.
In a 1836 Indian attack, the keepers house was destroyed and the lighthouse was badly damaged. The keepers house has been reconstructed and is open to the public.
The lighthouse is closed to the public except for the twice daily tours, currently at 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Although the tour is normally limited to 10 people, on the day I visited, the volunteer tour guide called for backup, and they were able to accommodate all 30 visitors. The tour starts with a walk down a shaded path and a lecture on the history of the lighthouse. It also includes a climb of the 109 steps to the top of the lighthouse, and free access to the grounds.
The original lens housing has been preserved and is on display outside the gates to the lighthouse grounds.
Even if you miss the tour, the lighthouse can be viewed fairly close up from the Bill Biggs Cape Florida State Park beach, or from several other points in the park.
Florida Lighthouses - Lorne's Lighthouses
Comments to: Lorne Hull
Last updated: 03 Jun 2001