Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, South Portland

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The Portland Breakwater Light is a small lighthouse in South Portland, Maine.HistoryThe 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 1934 Spring Point Ledge Light was erected and the houses around Bug Light were demolished and the lighthouse keeper tended to both lighthouses. During World War II, the breakwater slowly receded, 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 subsequently was discontinued in 1943.RestorationThe 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.
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Portland Breakwater Lighthouse Reviews
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  • September 28, 2017
    The lighthouse is most often referred as Buglight, and is at the edge of the park on the ocean. The ocean and those distant islands are captivating. There's a proper, nice walkway to the lighthouse. P...  more »
  • September 18, 2017
    My husband was all raring to go on this long walk across uneven granite rocks, me not so much.The history is interesting and we have no idea how they could have possibly gotten these granite slabs out...  more »
  • September 16, 2017
    If you're a U.S. Citizen, you have to come here when you're in Portland, ME. This is the iconic lighthouse that is shown in just about every Maine brochure. It's the first lighthouse commissioned by P...  more »

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52 days in Maine BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in South Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in South Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Maine BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Maine BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in South Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Maine BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Maine BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in South Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Maine BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, kids, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, kids, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Maine BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
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