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Grosse Point Lighthouse, Evanston

#5 of 16 in Things to do in Evanston
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
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
95 reviews
  • Gorgeous location. Right on the Michigan Lake. Parking you can find at the nearby park. And you can go to the nearby beach . Check website for out of season visiting hours ( if any).  more »
  • The Grosse Point Lighthouse has both interesting gardens/grounds to wander around as well as art collection inside. The lighthouse over looks the lake and offers a great view of lake, especially at.....  more »
  • It's just very tranquil and with people using the beach for yoga it's a great experience for me and my Labrador retriever.
  • Awesome place to visit. Night old English style and luckily when we went there there were not many people. Photographers need a permit to photograph around the light house. Also, the beach is paid, I believe $8 which is really weird because there is nothing special about it. Here is a photo from the session we photographed there

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