Grosse Point Lighthouse, Evanston

4.3
#3 of 7 in Things to do in Evanston
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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
68 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 8, 2017
    We had a wonderful tour and loved the history behind this place. The dedication of volunteers is amazing.  more »
  • August 5, 2017
    We couldn't get the lighthouse tour but the nearby beach and surrounding ground/park is worth spending couple of hours. Parking fills up quickly in summer months so we had to find street parking nearb...  more »
  • June 10, 2017
    It's a beautiful neighborhood. I just happen to saw the lighthouse and stop by there. It wasn't open but you could go the beach (behind the lighthouse). It is peaceful. There is a small park for kids ...  more »
Google
  • June 15, 2017
    Nice old light house with tours in the summer (small groups.) Often have sculpture a garden. Right by the beach. Really interesting area and day.
  • March 14, 2017
    Beautiful lighthouse at night.
  • June 14, 2016
    Nice little park with a very pretty lighthouse, beach, and picnic tables available
  • October 9, 2016
    Quaint park with free parking.
  • June 9, 2014
    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.

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