Chicago Harbor Lights

Chicago, Illinois

What? Lighthouses in Chicago? There's actually a long history of lights at the mouth of the Chicago River. The light placed there in 1832 was the earliest on Lake Michigan. The tower pictured above was constructed in 1893, and moved to the outer breakwater in 1917. A beautiful Third Order lens, with red and white flashing panels, was installed after the Columbian Exposition of 1891. The award-winning lens had been built especially for Pt. Loma, California, but instead, it was installed in the just-completed Chicago Lighthouse. Today this light exhibits a flashing red beacon.

Closer in, is the Southeast Guidwall Light, which is at the end of the locks which control boat access from the river to Lake Michigan. You can see both lights in this photo.

If you go to Chicago, try to take a trip on one of the many tour boats that tie up along the river. The Chicago's First Lady is a replica of the Presidential yacht, Sequoyia. It sails several times a day for a 2-hour architectural tour of the waterfront skyline and the buildings lining the Chicago River. One of my favorite buildings is the Marina City Towers, which looks like a home for the Jetsons, and was built by an architect who hated right angles.