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Trip Planner: USA / Maine / South Portland / Portland Breakwater Lighthouse
The Portland Breakwater Light is a small lighthouse in South Portland, Maine.
The lighthouse was first built in 1855, as a wooden structure, but the breakwater was extended and a new lighthouse was constructed at the end of it in 1875. The new lighthouse was made of curved cast-iron plates whose seams are disguised by six decorative Corinthian columns. Its design was inspired by the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, made well known by engravings. The architect was Thomas U. Walter, most noted as the designer of the U.S. Capitol east and west wings and its current dome. Wooden sheds and a six-room house for the lighthouse-keeper were added incrementally as needed. In 1897 Spring Point Ledge Light was erected and the houses around Bug Light were demolished and the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse keepers tended to both lighthouses. During World War II, the breakwater was slowly absorbed by landfill as the New England Shipbuilding Corporation built two shipyards next to the lighthouse. These shipyards produced Liberty Ships for the war effort. Because of the smaller breakwater, there was a lesser need for the lighthouse and it was decommissioned in 1943.
The light was fully restored in 1989 and was reactivated in 2002. It appears as a private aid to navigation in the US Coast Guard Light List as South Portland Breakwater Light. Today a park named after the lighthouse, Bug Light Park, allows visitors to view the Portland Breakwater Light up close, while memorializing the shipbuilding efforts of World War II. The light was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Portland Breakwater Light on June 19, 1973, reference number 73000238. Before you head to South Portland, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly South Portland visit planning site, to make sure you see all that South Portland has to offer, including Portland Breakwater Lighthouse.
Portland Breakwater Lighthouse reviews
This cute lighthouse is on a walking path and is easily accessible by most. The path is paved but to get to the lighthouse is a little uneven.
This cute lighthouse is on a walking path and is easily accessible by most. The path is paved but to get to the lighthouse is a little uneven. more »
Beautiful little lighthouse and park. Could see Fort Gorges from shore, too. Very clean park that is also dog friendly. Pretty little spot to picnic or just pass some time with some gorgeous views!
Beautiful little lighthouse and park. Could see Fort Gorges from shore, too. Very clean park that is also dog friendly. Pretty little spot to picnic or just pass some time with some gorgeous views! more »
Pretty park to stop by for a stroll, fly a kite or have a picnic by the water. Interesting history to the lighthouse and the area. Plenty of parking and good views of the surrounding islands and downtown Portland waterfront.
Set in a nice park along the water, this cute little Lighthouse in South Portland is sitting at the entry of Portland Harbor. Good place to sit and enjoy nice weather having a picnic lunch, take your dog for a walk or just watch all sorts of watercrafts come and go. Learned today from a local that Breakwater Lighthouse acquired the name “Bug Light”, because it looks “cute as a bug”.
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