Alki Point Light

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Alki Point Light
Alki Point Light is located in Washington (state)
Alki Point Light
LocationWest Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47°34′34″N 122°25′13″W / 47.576054°N 122.420242°W / 47.576054; -122.420242Coordinates: 47°34′34″N 122°25′13″W / 47.576054°N 122.420242°W / 47.576054; -122.420242[1]
Year first constructed1913
Year first lit1913
Tower shapeOctagonal
Markings / patternWhite with red and black trim
Tower height37 feet (11 m) (39 feet (12 m) above sea level)
Focal height12 metre Edit this on Wikidata
Original lensFourth order Fresnel lens (removed)
Current lensVRB-25
Range15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi)
CharacteristicFlashing White 5s. Emergency light isophase white 6s. Lighted throughout 24 hours.

The Alki Point Light is an active aid to navigation located on Puget Sound's Alki Point, the southern entrance to Seattle's Elliott Bay, King County, Washington.[2] It is listed as Alki Point Light number 16915 in the USCG light lists.[3]


The first, unofficial, light established at Alki Point was a kerosene lantern said to have been hung on the side of a barn in the 1870s by farmer and property owner Hans Martin Hanson.[4] In 1887, the United States Lighthouse Board recognized the need for an official light and placed a lens-lantern atop a wooden post at the point.[5] As Hanson remained the property's owner, he was assigned to be lightkeeper at a salary of $15 per month.[6]

Alki Point Lighthouse in a 1914 photograph by Asahel Curtis

Hanson's son Edmund sold the point to the government in 1910. By 1913, the present structure comprising a 37-foot (11 m) octagonal brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story brick fog signal building, was complete.[7] It is the twin of Point Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island, built two years later.

The tower held a fourth order Fresnel lens that was visible at no less than 12 miles (19 km). Other site improvements included two residences for the lighthouse keepers. In 1962, the original Fresnel lens was replaced by a modern optic device (VRB-25 aerobeacon). The station was automated in 1984.[4] Following modernization, the principal keeper's quarters became the home of the Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District.[7]

The active light station remains in the hands of the U.S. Coast Guard. Tours are periodically offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.


  1. ^ "Alki Point Lighthouse". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ "Alki Point Light". Inventory of Historic Light Stations: Washington Lighthouses. National Park Service. Archived from the original on September 20, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Light List, Volumes 1-7. United States Coast Guard.
  4. ^ "13th Coast Guard District Lighthouses". 13th Coast Guard District. January 1996. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  5. ^ "Alki Point, WA". Lighthousefriends. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ (October 19, 2014). "Lighthouses of the United States: Washington". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved June 3, 2015.

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