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Grosse Point Lighthouse, Evanston

4.3
#2 of 7 in Things to do in Evanston
Lighthouse 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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66 reviews
Google
4.6
  • 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 »
  • It's a nice little town to travel to. There is a beach near/behind the lighthouse. The light house wasn't open for the season yet to take the tour. You can get out and walk around near the lighthouse....  more »
  • Although this light house wasn't open when I got there, just walking on the grounds was beautiful and well kept. I was just visiting the area and wasn't sure about parking so I just parked on the stre...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • Beautiful lighthouse at night.
  • Nice little park with a very pretty lighthouse, beach, and picnic tables available
  • Quaint park with free parking.
  • 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.