Pensacola Lighthouse

Sept. 24, 2019

Pensacola Lighthouse, Pensacola Bay, Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida

Originally built in 1825, current structure built in 1859.


Station Established: 1825 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858 
Operational: Yes 
Automated: Yes, 1965 
Deactivated: N/A 
Foundation Materials: Granite 
Construction Materials: Brick 
Tower Shape: Conical attached to original keepers dwelling 
Markings/Pattern: Brick tower, lower third, white; upper tow-thirds, and lantern, dome and cowl, black
Height: 190-3/4 feet 
Relationship to Other Structure: Attached 
Original: First Order, Revolving, 1859
Characteristic: Flashing white every minute

Historical Information:

  • In 1825 a 40 foot tower was built on a bluff at the south entrance of the Pensacola Bay. Trees near the light and on Santa Rosa Island obscured the light. 
  • In 1858 a 150 foot tall tower was built on the north side of the bay entrance. It was lit on January 1, 1859. The new tower served as a rear range light. In 1879 a Front Range light was built 448 feet southeast of the light tower. That light was called the Pensacola Bar Beacon. 
  • During the Civil War, confederates removed the lens from the Pensacola Light. In 1861 the tower suffered some damage during an artillery dual. The light was relit in 1863 using a fourth order Fresnel lens. A first order lens was placed in the tower in 1869. The light was automated in 1965.
  • The tour is an active aid to navigation and open to the public during very limited hours.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.