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Grosse Point Lighthouse, Evanston

(4.3/5 based on 60+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The light house itself is lovely to look at, but the signage is terrible - non existent - and the buildings around are pretty dilapidated and there is nothing to explain why it is there and what it is...  more »
  • We were driving back to Northwestern on Sheridan from Wilmette when we saw this lighthouse. Stopping, we discovered that it is attached to a marine museum, a terrific beach and what appears an old man...  more »
  • at the end of Central St., in Evanston. Obviously right on Lake Michigan. Beautiful area to stroll around.  more »
Google
  • Quaint park with free parking.
  • Nice little park with a very pretty lighthouse, beach, and picnic tables available
  • The location is beautiful, and if you're into lighthouses, then this is the place you've been looking for. There is this shady lawn area that is behind that house that is simply majestic. They do offer a tour during summer. Lighhouse it's about 10 stories high. You can learn a lot from the tour and of course there's an amazing view of the lakefront from up there.
  • Very nice hidden gem. Great for a small picnic
  • One of the few lighthouses in Chicagoland. This lighthouse is an old style and they allow you to walk on the top during the summer time.