"Loggerhead Key - Dry Tortugas - 1858" Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Off The Beaten Path Tip by grandmaR
United States of America Off The Beaten Path: 302 reviews and 511 photos
I was hoping that I would get a good view of this lighthouse from the seaplane, but I was on the wrong side for a photograph on the way in, and the plane developed a fault and I had to go back by ferry. The lighthouse is accessible only by boat
The Loggerhead Key lighthouse was replaced the one on Garden Key at the western extreme of the Florida Keys. The new 150-foot tower was scheduled to possess a first-order Fresnel lens.
Daniel P. Woodbury, who at the time was overseeing the construction of Garden Key?s Fort Jefferson, was also put in charge of building the Dry Tortugas Lighthouse. Following Woodbury?s plans, the conical brick tower enclosed a spiral staircase consisting of 203 granite blocks that lead upwards to the watch room, on top of which rested the lantern room. Twelve feet below the watch room, the tower?s brickwork started to flare out to support an exterior walkway encircling the watch room. The Fresnel lens, supplied by L. Sautter & Company of Paris, France, produced a steady white light and was first illuminated on July 1, 1858.
The lighthouse is active, with a white flash every 20 s. It has a solar-powered VRB-25 aerobeacon. The lower half of tower painted white, and the upper half and lantern black. The 1-story brick keeper's house (1922), original kitchen, and other outbuildings have been preserved but the 2nd order bivalve Fresnel lens (1909) is now on display at the Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia. The keeper's house is used as housing for park service personnel.
Much needed restoration of the Loggerhead Key Lighthouse took place from October 2008 through February 2009. The contract was awarded to Enola Contracting Inc. of Chipley, Florida. The project involved replacement of broken and missing windows with new reinforced glass panes and new glazing. Corroded and damaged hardware was replaced with new stainless steel hardware. Salvageable iron roof framing members were stripped of corrosion, primed, and painted. Due to severe weather damage, the existing copper roof had many of the copper roof panels missing or peeled away from the iron framing members. This roof was restored with new copper roof panel replicas of the original structure. A number of new stainless steel brackets were designed to fasten the new copper roof pieces to the existing iron frame. Additionally, a new copper finial replica of the original was fabricated by Keicher Metal Arts of Leeds, New York. The NPS continues to plan for future preservation projects on Loggerhead Key Lighthouse.
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