Alligator Reef Light
|Location||3.5 nautical miles; 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) east of Indian Key|
near the Matecumbe Keys
|Foundation||iron piles woth platform|
|Construction||wrought iron skeleton framework tower|
|Height||136 feet (41 m)|
|Shape||octagonal pyramidal tower enclosing stair cylinder, keeper's dwelling on a platform, balcony and lantern|
|Markings||white tower and keeper's dwelling, black lantern and pile foundations|
|Power source||solar power|
|Operator||United States Coast Guard|
|Heritage||National Register of Historic Places listed place|
|Focal height||136 feet (41 m)|
|Lens||first order bivalve Fresnel lens (1873) (original), VRB-25 aerobeacon (1997) (current)|
|Range||white: 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi)|
red: 13 nautical miles (24 km; 15 mi)
|Characteristic||Fl (4) W 60s. |
(2Red sectors) 0.2s fl 9.8s ec. 0.2s fl 9.8s ec. 0.2s fl 9.8s ec. 0.2s fl 29.8s ec. Red from 23° to 249° and 047° to 068°.
Alligator Reef Light
|NRHP reference No.||11000860|
|Added to NRHP||December 1, 2011|
Alligator Reef Light is located 4 nautical miles (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) east of Indian Key, near the Matecumbe Keys of Florida in the United States, north of Alligator Reef itself. The station was established in 1873. It was automated in 1963 and was last operational in July, 2014, and is being replaced by a 16' steel structure with a less powerful light located adjacent to it. The structure is an iron pile skeleton with a platform. The light is 136 feet (41 m) above the water. It is a white octagonal pyramid skeleton framework on black pile foundation, enclosing a square dwelling and a stair-cylinder. The lantern is black. The original lens was a first order bivalve Fresnel lens. The light characteristic of the original light was: flashing white and red, every third flash red, from SW by W 1/2 W through southward to NE 1/8 E, and from NE by E 3/4 E through northward to SW 3/8 S; flashing red throughout the intervening sectors; interval between flashes 5 seconds. It had a nominal range of 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi) in the white sectors and 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi) in the red sectors. The new light has a range of approximately 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi).
The name honors the U.S. Navy schooner Alligator, part of the U. S. Navy Anti-Piracy Squadron that had recently been established in Key West, which went aground at this location in 1822. The Alligator was blown up after removing as much as possible from it to prevent it from being used by pirates. Countless vessels have also sunk here on the reef's jagged coral. This lighthouse cost $185,000 to build at that time. To support the tower, a 2,000 lb (900 kg) hammer was used to drive the 12 inches (300 mm) iron pilings ten feet (3.0 m) into the coral.
On February 1, 2019, it was announced that the lighthouse would be given away freely to any government agencies, educational agencies, non-profit corporations, or any community development organizations who wanted to use it for "educational, park, recreational, cultural or historic preservation purposes." This is in accordance with the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.
- Rowlett, Russ (July 25, 2017). "Lighthouses of the United States: Eastern Florida and the Keys". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography Florida". United States Coast Guard. December 21, 2016. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- Light List, Volumes 1-7. United States Coast Guard.[dead link]
- Silk, Robert (September 10, 2014). "Dying of the light on Alligator Reef". Florida Keys News. Archived from the original on 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
- "Notice of Availability: Alligator Reef Light Station". United States General Services Administration. February 1, 2019. Archived from the original on March 1, 2019.
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Florida". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
- Dean, Love (1982). Reef Lights: Sea swept Lighthouses of the Florida Keys. Key West, Florida: The Historic Key West Preservation Board. ISBN 0-943528-03-8.
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