Florida Lighthouse Association, Inc.

Preserving, Restoring, Protecting & Defending Florida's Lighthouse Towers

Ponce de Leon Inlet

Photo: Paula Showen

Active: Yes

Characteristics: Flashing white 6 times in 15 seconds, then a 15 second eclipse.

Height: 175 feet, 213 steps

DayMark: Red-washed brick with a black lantern

History: Built 1887. Only Florida Lighthouse listed as a National Historic Landmark; second tallest brick tower in the U.S.

Lens: Original: First-order fixed Fresnel lens (1887-1933), Barbier et Fenestre (1867). Others used: third-order revolving Fresnel lens (1933-1970); Vega VRB-25 rotating beacon (1996). Focal Plane: 159 feet.

Construction: Built from USLHE standard plans.  Note that the tower architecture has in the past been incorrectly attributed to  Francis Hopkinson Smith.  Smith was an engineer and contractor who did indeed carry out building projects for the USLHE, USLSS and others.  His greatest project may have been building the foundation for the Statue of Liberty.  There is no evidence that he ever was an architecture and he did not work on this lighthouse.

Design of this lighthouse is an interesting combination of standard designs used at other structures and adapted to fit the needs.  For example, the lantern room is the design used at Fowey Rocks Lighthouse.  Construction is brick, granite and iron. Brick conical tower.

Other Buildings: Three keeper's dwellings; woodshed/privies; oil storage house; pump house.

     29 04 48 N
     80 55 42 W

Operated by: Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc.

Visit Status: Open to Public

Days Open: Open daily

Facilities: Museum, Gift Shop, handicap accessible

Hours Open: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (last museum/lighthouse admission at 5:00 pm); Memorial Day through Labor Day: from 10:00 am. to 9:00 p.m.(last admission at 8:00 p.m).

Visitor Information: Admission includes climbing the lighthouse, three keeper’s dwellings as museums, a boat yard, and the spectacular Lens Exhibit Building featuring the first-order lens from the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, the original Ponce Inlet first order lens, a fourth order clamshell lens, a 6th order rotating lens, and a Chance Brothers circa 1850 third order middle lens complete with pedestal, tanks and lamp. Visit the gift shop which features unique nautical and lighthouse merchandise. A major restoration of the tower has been recently completed.

Admission: $5.00 for adults and $1.50 for children 11 and under.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc.
Ed Gunn, Executive Director
4931 South Peninsula Drive
Ponce Inlet, FL  32127

Email: Lighthouse@PonceInlet.org
Website: www.PonceInlet.org/

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