Point Vicente Light
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Point Vicente Light
Rancho Palos Verdes
|Year first constructed||1926|
|Construction||reinforced concrete tower|
|Tower shape||cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||
|Height||67 feet (20 m)|
|Focal height||155 feet (47 m)|
|Original lens||Third order Fresnel lens by Barbier, Bernard and Turenne|
|Current lens||Third order Fresnel lens|
|Range||24 nautical miles (44 km; 28 mi)|
|Characteristic||Fl (2) W 20s.|
|Managing agent||United States Coast Guard|
|Heritage||place listed on the National Register of Historic Places|
Point Vicente Lighthouse is a lighthouse in California, United States, in Rancho Palos Verdes, north of Los Angeles Harbor, California. It is between Point Loma Lighthouse to the south and Point Conception Lighthouse to the north. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Point Vicente Lighthouse was built in 1926 on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The light source was dimmed during World War II to avoid aiding the enemy. It was automated in 1971 by the United States Coast Guard. The original third order Fresnel lens still revolves in the lantern room. In 2015, the Coast Guard announced its intention to install an LED light with a 14 nm range, replacing the current light and lens.
The Point Vicente Lighthouse is just north of the entrances to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbors. It was operated and maintained by the United States Lighthouse Service prior to that Service being merged with the U.S. Coast Guard, which was delegated all aid-to-navigation responsibilities in 1939. The lighthouse was manned until 1971 when it was automated by a remote electronic aids-to-navigation monitoring system.
The white cylindrical tower is 67 feet (20 m) tall, and the masonry structure is built on the edge of a 130-foot (40 m) cliff. This places the center of the lantern 185 feet (56 m) above the ocean, and because of this elevation, the 1.1 million candlepower-beam has a nominal (clear weather) visible range of 24 nautical miles (44 km; 28 mi). The Coast Guard Light List specifies its light characteristic as being a pair of two white flashes, repeating that pair every 20 seconds. An emergency light of reduced intensity operates if the main light is extinguished. The most striking feature in the lighthouse is the classical third-order rotating Fresnel Lens located in the lantern. This particular lens was manufactured around 1910 in Paris, France, by Barbier, Bernard and Turenne, the oldest lens making company in the world. This lens is made up of hand-ground prisms held in place by a cast brass frame. The prisms and frame represent an excellent example of the precision achieved by optical scientists and the lens making art in utilizing the known principles and properties of light.
This lighthouse also incorporates a pleasant-sounding foghorn to audibly warn ships during times of low visibility which are common to the area.
- George W. L'Hommedieu (1925–1930)
- Anton Trittinger (1930–1945)
- Joseph May (1945–1955)
The lighthouse today
The Point Vicente Lighthouse is open for tours on the second Saturday of each month, 10am to 3pm PST. The lighthouse and grounds are federal property owned and operated by the United States Coast Guard.
In addition to the Lighthouse & USCG Museum, the property includes three houses, which are Coast Guard residences.
The US Coast Guards Aids to Navigation Team Los Angeles/Long Beach (CG ANT LA/LB) is in charge of operation and maintenance of the Lighthouse and Fresnel Lens. Members from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary who are also members of the CG ANT LA/LB are in charge of the tours and open houses at the lighthouse. These members are recognized as Lighthouse Keepers by the USCG Auxiliary and Technicians by the CG.
The US Naval Sea Cadets assist at the open houses at the entrance gate access, in the Lighthouse and USCG museum, and perimeter sentry, keeping the public away from restricted areas. Some restricted areas include the lighthouse top floor (lantern room), the lawn, and the two streets leading to the USCG houses. The non-restricted areas include the lighthouse (except lantern room), museum, and street leading to lighthouse.
Parking is available outside the entrance gate. Only vehicles authorized by the USCG are allowed on the property. There are no public restrooms on the property. The nearest public restrooms are at the city's interpretive center next door. Admission to the lighthouse is free.
The lighthouse was the finish line for the 25th season popular American reality show The Amazing Race.
Undated USCG photo
- Point Vicente The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 15 June 2016
- California Historic Light Station Information & Photography United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 15 June 2016
- Local Notice to Mariners p. 5, retrieved July 2016
- Inventory of Historic Light Stations – California Lighthouses – Point Vicente Light
- Light List Vol VI, p. 36, retrieved July 2016
- Point Vincente Lighthose friends. Retrieved 15 June 2016
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: California". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office.
This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "http://www.uscg.mil/history/weblighthouses/LHCA.asp, United States Coast Guard".
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