Absecon Lighthouse

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Absecon Light
ABSECON 72 500.jpg
Absecon Lighthouse is located in Atlantic County, New Jersey
Absecon Lighthouse
Location Vermont and Pacific Avenues, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Coordinates 39°21′58″N 74°24′51″W / 39.36611°N 74.41417°W / 39.36611; -74.41417Coordinates: 39°21′58″N 74°24′51″W / 39.36611°N 74.41417°W / 39.36611; -74.41417
Year first constructed 1856
Year first lit 1857
Deactivated 1933
Foundation Granite blocks
Construction Brick and iron
Tower shape Frustum of a cone attached to keeper's house
Markings / pattern yellow/black/yellow[1]
Height 171 feet (52 m)[1]
Original lens First-order Fresnel lens
Range 19.5 nmi (36.1 km; 22.4 mi)

fixed white light

Absecon Lighthouse
Area 2 acres (0.81 ha)
NRHP reference # 71000492[2]
NJRHP # 389[3]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP January 25, 1971
Designated NJRHP September 11, 1970
Heritage place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

The Absecon Lighthouse is a coastal lighthouse located in the north end of Atlantic City, New Jersey, overlooking Absecon Inlet. At 171 feet (52 m) it is the tallest lighthouse in the state of New Jersey and is the third-tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. Construction began in 1854, with the light first lit on January 15, 1857. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933 and although the light still shines every night, it is no longer an active navigational aid. The lighthouse is open to public visitation and for a small donation one may climb to the watch room and external gallery. A re-creation of the keepers' quarters was opened in 2002 and serves as a museum and gift shop. The original oil house now contains a Fresnel lens exhibit. Along with school and group tours, the Absecon Lighthouse also offers an overnight program for Scouts, winter arts program for children and a wide variety of special events throughout the year.

It was designed by George Meade and still retains its original first-order fixed Fresnel lens. The lens is made of lead glass and weighs 12,800 pounds (5,800 kg)[4] As the light was fixed (non-flashing), it does not have a landward segment allowing visitors to look up in the lens where the keepers entered it for maintenance.

Jack E. Boucher conceived and oversaw the preservation of the lighthouse in 1964.

The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Historic American Buildings Survey, and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.[5]


HABS drawing of the top level
Jack Boucher's photo of the lighthouse at night

Absecon Lighthouse has a history museum located in the replicated 1925 Keeper’s House. Exhibits include ocean life, shipwrecks, keepers and lighthouse history, local memorabilia and restoration photos. The Oil House has a Fresnel Lens exhibit. Visitors can climb the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Educational programs are offered for groups and children.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: New Jersey". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Atlantic County" (PDF). NJ DEP - Historic Preservation Office. June 2, 2011. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 17, 2006. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ Keeping the Absecon Lighthouse, and its lore, accessible to visitors by Mary Cummings-Jordan, August 22, 2012, Newsworks, accessed August 26, 2012.
  5. ^ NEW JERSEY - Atlantic County, National Register of Historic Places. Accessed March 6, 2008.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tallest Building in Atlantic City
171 ft
Succeeded by
Traymore Hotel