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Grosse Point Lighthouse, Evanston

4.4
#4 of 17 in Things to do in Evanston
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
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The historic Grosse Point Light is located in Evanston, Illinois. Following several shipping disasters near Evanston, residents successfully lobbied the federal government for a lighthouse. Construction was completed in 1873. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 8, 1976. On 20 January 1999, the lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark. It is maintained under the jurisdiction of the Evanston Lighthouse Park District, an independent taxing authority.HistoryImpetusThe United States government agreed to construct the lighthouse at Grosse Point after several maritime disasters near the area showed need for it. Shoals were a real hazard, and ship traffic was increasing concurrent with development in the Midwest, the growth of Chicago, the aftermath of the Chicago Fire, and the increased trade and exploitation of natural resources throughout the Great Lakes. Particularly influential was the 1860 sinking of the Lady Elgin, a disaster which claimed more than 300 lives. The citizens of Evanston petitioned the government for the light station, but the Civil War (1861-1865) delayed any funding for the project. Lighthouses in Chicago proper were proving themselves insufficient, so there was a perceived need for action.ConstructionThe project to construct a lighthouse began in 1872, supervised by Orlando Metcalf Poe, who designed the buildings. Most of the construction was completed by June 30, 1873, although the lamp would not be lit for several months. Finally, in March 1874, the light commenced operation. The building is designed in Italianate architecture.
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Grosse Point Lighthouse reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
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Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Since we were working our way down from the Chicago Botanic Garden and down to the Baha’i House of Worship it made sense to stop here. Only a 4 minute drive from the Baha’i House of Worship it would.....  more
    Since we were working our way down from the Chicago Botanic Garden and down to the Baha’i House of Worship it made sense to stop here. Only a 4 minute drive from the Baha’i House of Worship it would.....  more »
  • When I first saw Grosse Point Lighthouse in Evanston, I immediately wanted to know its history. It was built in 1873. After that, there's been some 150 years of its long service. When I learnt its... 
    When I first saw Grosse Point Lighthouse in Evanston, I immediately wanted to know its history. It was built in 1873. After that, there's been some 150 years of its long service. When I learnt its...  more »
Google
  • Very nice that's a beach you can swim and they also have lifeguard. They have fire pit. It is very nice place to hangout
  • Went to the Grosse Point Lighthouse in Evanston on Tuesday morning and was not disappointed! The area is gorgeous and even in the chilly weather I enjoyed walking around and taking in all the views. The surrounding area is so pretty and calm. I only saw a few other people, but the space is so big it was as if I were alone. The area is well kept too so make sure you keep it clean when you go. Parking on site is free and there were more than enough spots available. Walking around the grounds is free as well, but there is a small admission fee to go into the lighthouse. There are tours available, but I didn’t check it out. I recommend stopping by!

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