Lighthouse Engineering Patterns: Brick Towers

Conical brick towers of similiar designs, including variants thereof. This list will include stone and iron towers whose design clearly influenced or was influenced by brick towers. In a few cases, iron lighthouses are also included when their design is clearly similiar to a masonry tower.

Winslow Lewis
Lighthouse
State
Height
Constructed
First Lighted
Discontinued
Status
Notes
Sapelo Island I GA 65 ft 1820 1820 1905-1998 active replaced by a new lighthouse in 1905
restored and relighted in 1998
Cumberland Island GA 50 ft   1820 1838 disassembled & moved rebuilt at Amelia Island
Mobile Point I AL 40 ft   1820 1861 destroyed during Civil War (1864)  
Cape Florida I FL 65 ft   1825 1836 demolished & replaced (1846) severely damaged during Second Seminole War
Cape Romain I SC 65 ft   1827 1858 extant (without lantern) replaced by new lighthouse
Roanoke Marshes I NC     1831   not extant discontinued (1839)
Cat Island I MS 35 ft   1831 1861 demolished (1872) lantern moved to Tchefuncte River (1866?)
replaced after the war by a screwpile tower (1871)
Amelia Island FL 50 ft   1839   active  
Dog Island I FL 50 ft   1839 1842 destroyed seriously damaged by hurricane
replaced by new lighthouse
Black River (Grandview) VA 30 ft   1829 1936 destroyed by hurricane (1956)  
Choctaw Point (Mobile) AL     1831 1862 not extant not reestablished after the Civil War
replaced by Battery Gladden Lighthouse
Pass Christian MS 30 ft   1831 1882 demolished  
South Pass LA   1831-1832 1832 1839 destroyed by storm (1841) discontinued due to damage from logs during a flood (1839)
replaced by new lighthouse
Southwest Pass LA   1831-1832 1832 1837 destroyed by erosion (1837) repalced by new lighthouse
St. George Island (Wess Pass) FL 65 ft   1833 1848 demolished (1848) material used to build Cape St. George Lighthouse
Barnegat I NJ   1834-1835 1835 1856 destroyed by erosion (1856) replaced by new lighthouse
Sand Island I AL 55 ft   1838 1858 demolished (1858) replaced by new lighthouse
Thomas Point II MD     1838 1875 destroyed by erosion (1894) replaced by Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
Mosquito Inlet I FL 45 ft 1834-1835 n/a n/a collapsed (1836) never lighted due to lack of oil
St. Joseph Bay FL 50 ft 1838 1839 1847 demolished (1847) material used to build Cape San Blas I
Eastern Point II MA 35 ft   1848 1890 demolished (1890) replaced by new lighthouse

Defining Characteristics: early conical brick towers, originally with "birdcage" lanterns, using standardized plans prepared by Winslow Lewis.

 

Noah Porter
Lighthouse
State
Height
Constructed
First Lighted
Discontinued
Status
Notes
Ocracoke NC 65 ft   1823 n/a active  
Assateague I VA 45 ft 1832-1833 1833 1867 not extant replaced by new lighthouse

Defining Characteristics: early conical brick towers, originally with "birdcage" lanterns. Similiar to Winslow Lewis designs.

 

John Donahoo/Donahoe
Lighthouse
State
Height
Constructed
First Lighted
Discontinued
Status
Notes
Turkey Point MD 40 ft   1832      
Cove Point MD 50 ft   1828      
Piney Point MD 30 ft 1836 Sep 1836 1964 extant  
Pooles Island MD 40 ft   1825 1939-2011 active  
Concord Point MD 30 ft 1827 1827 1975-1983 active  
Thomas Point I MD 30 ft   1825 1838   replaced by a new lghthouse
Lazaretto Point MD 30 ft   1831 1926 demolished (1926) replaced by skeletal beacon light (1926)
replica built 1985
Watts Island VA 40 ft   1833   destroyed by storm (1944)  

Defining Characteristics: early conical brick towers, originally with "birdcage" lanterns. Similiar to Winslow Lewis designs. All built on Chesepeake Bay.
Note: John Donahoo also built the Blakistone Island Lighthouse, but it used a different design.

 

Octagonal Brick
Lighthouse
State
Designer
Constructed
First Lighted
Status
Notes/Variations
Cape Romain II SC Daniel P. Woodbury (1855) 1855-1857 Jan 1, 1858 inactive  
Hunting Island I SC W. H. C. Whiting (1857) 1857?-1859 July 1, 1859 destroyed blown by Confederates (1861)

Characteristics: octagonal brick tower with flaired brick supporting gallery deck, stairs around central column.

 

Meade-Raynolds
Lighthouse
State
Designers
Designed
Constructed
First Lighted
Status
Notes
Absecon NJ Hartman Bache & George G. Meade 1854 & 1855 1855-1856 Jan 15, 1857 active A report by Meade in the Absecon clip files indicates the tower was originally designed by Bache but Meade made alterations to the design.
Egmont Key II FL William F. Raynolds 1857 1857-1858 May 1858 active lantern removed (1944)
Barnegat II NJ George G. Meade & William F. Raynolds 1855 & 1856 1857-1858 Jan 1, 1859 active  
Cape May II NJ George G. Meade & William F. Raynolds 1855 & 1856 1857-1859 July 1, 1859 active included an attached work room at the base, a smaller verion of the one used in the Antebellum Standard Plan below
Jupiter Inlet FL George G. Meade & William F. Raynolds 1854 & 1858 1859-1860 July 1860 active  
Fenwick Island DE William F. Raynolds 1856 1858 Aug 1, 1859 extant  

Characteristics: double-walled conical brick tower, grated iron stairs around central column, windows on four sides at landings, granite brackets supporting gallery deck
Notes: Meade also designed the Cedar Keys and Sombrero Keys Lighthouses, but these were of substanially different styles. Jupiter used a Meade-style lantern, but the other four lighthouses used a more traditional design.

 

Woodbury (Antebellum Standard Brick Tower Plan)
Lighthouse
State
Designer
Constructed
First Lighted
Status
Notes
Bogue Bank NC Daniel P. Woodbury 1854-1855 May 20, 1855 destroyed (1861) blown up by Confederates during Civil War to clear lines of fire for Fort Macon
vertical rather than conical, includes attached two-story oil house / work room
keeper's house connected to the oil house
Loggerhead Key
(Dry Tortugas)
FL Daniel P. Woodbury 1857-1858 July 1, 1858 extant built without the attached oil house
Sand Island II AL Danville Leadbetter 1858 Jan 1859 destroyed (1863) blown up by Confederates during Civil War
Pensacola II FL George H. Derby 1858 Jan 1859 active  
St. Johns River III FL W. H. C. Whiting 1857-1858 Jan 1, 1859 exant attached oil house only one story, later removed (ca. 1940)
Cape San Blas III
(design & photo)
FL George H. Derby 1858-1859 May 1, 1859 destroyed (1882) location now underwater due to erosion
Cape Lookout II NC W. H. C. Whiting 1857-1859 Nov 1, 1859 active built without the attached oil house
included an above-ground "cellar" level
Cape Fear (proposal 1) NC W. H. C. Whiting [1860] n/a never built nearly identical to Cape Lookout
Cape Fear (proposal 2) NC W. H. C. Whiting [1860] n/a never built one-story oil house, gallery brackets similiar to later Pelz design

Characteristics: double-walled conical brick tower, central column, flared brick apron to support gallery deck, usually granite stairs (sometimes iron). Original architectural design includes an attached two-story structure (oil room and work room), but in some cases the oil house was not built or was only one story.

 

Raynolds Variant Of Antebellum Standard Brick Tower Plan
Lighthouse
State
Designer
Designed
Constructed
First Lighted
Status
Notes
Cape Charles II VA William F. Raynolds? 1856? 1857-1864 Sep 7, 1864 destroyed by erosion (1927) replaced by new lighthouse (1895)
Assateague II VA William F. Raynolds & Hartman Bache 1859 & 1860 1866-1867 Oct 1, 1867 active design modified at the request of the Lighthouse Board

Characteristics: double-walled conical brick tower, grated iron stairs around central column, grated iron stairs, granite brackets supporting gallery deck, attached one-story oil house
Note: this design combines elements of the Meade-Raynolds and the Antebellum Standard Brick Tower Plan designs.

 

Pelz (Postbellum Standard Brick Tower Plan)
Lighthouse
State
Designer
Constructed
First Lighted
Status
Notes/Variations
Cape Hatteras II NC William J. Newnan (1867?) 1868-1870 Dec 16, 1870 active no attached oil house, landings alternate sides instead of stacked
Point Arena I CA Paul J. Pelz 1869-1870 May 1, 1870 demolished short variant; replaced in 1906 due to severe earthquake damage
Pigeon Point CA Paul J. Pelz 1871-1872 Nov 15, 1872 active short variant
Bodie Island III NC Paul J. Pelz 1871-1872 Oct 1, 1872 active  
Yaquina Head OR Paul J. Pelz 1871-1873 Aug 20, 1873 active short variant
Sand Island IV AL Paul J. Pelz 1871-1873 Sep 1, 1873 extant oil house now removed
St. Augustine II FL Paul J. Pelz 1872-1874 Oct 15, 1874 active  
Piedras Blancas CA Paul J. Pelz 1874-1875 Feb 15, 1875 exant short variant; lanern removed in 1949 due to earthquake damage
Hunting Island II SC George H. Elliot &
Paul J. Pelz (1873)
1873-1875 1875 extant iron tower instead of brick
landing alignment is asymetric, no attached oil house
Currituck NC Paul J. Pelz 1873-1875 Dec 1, 1875 active  
Morris Island II SC Paul J. Pelz 1874-1876 Oct 1, 1876 extant oil house now removed
Loggerhead Key II FL Jared A. Smith? (1876) n/a [1876] never built nearly identical to New Camp Henry, but with a Fowey Rocks style lantern
New Cape Henry
(Cape Henery II)
VA Orville E. Babcock? 1879-1881 1881 active Iron tower instead of brick. No attached oil house.
Landing alignment is asymetric and landings are not a full half-circle.
Different style of windows, and on four sides instead of two.
Ponce de Leon Inlet
(Mosquito Inlet II)
FL Orville E. Babcock 1885-1887 1887 active Explicitly modified from the Pelz design. Used lantern design from Fowey Rocks. no attached oil house or semicircular landings, brick gallery brackets instead if iron, and no semicircular landings.
Destruction Island WA James F. Gregory (1888) 1888-1891 Jan 1, 1892 inactive brick & iron; attached workroom different from standard Pelz design

Characteristics: double-walled brick tower, iron gallery deck brackets, open center with weight well, tall windows on two opposite sides of the tower, metal staircase with double hand rails, semicircular landings, watch room, lantern room seperated from top of staircase.
Variantions: This list includes iron lighthouses that were clearly inspired by the Pelz Standard Plan and masonry towers that were clear variants of the design.
Origin: This design seems to have been influenced by the Antebellum Standard Brick Tower Plan and William B. Franklin's design of the 1861 Cape Ann twin lights. Lighthouse Historian John Havel and National Park Service both credit William Newnan, 5th District Engineer, with creating the Hatteras plan, which seems to have been designed first. The main design credited to Paul Pelz has so many similiarities with Hatteras it must have been the inspiration. Pelz was a civil engineer and draftsman for the Lighthouse Board from 1867 to 1877, the last five years holding the title of Chief Draftsman.

 

Pelz Lantern & Brackets
Lighthouse
State
Designer
Constructed
First Lighted
Status
Notes/Variations
Southwest Pass II LA       extant iron pile tower
Bolivar Point TX James H. Simpson 1871-1872 Nov 19, 1872 extant iron tower
Stannard Rock MI Godfrey Weitzel 1877-1882 July 4, 1882 extant stone tower used a design similiar to Spectacle Rock Lighthouse (designed by Orlando M. Poe), although the tower windows are superficially similiar to the Pelz design.

Characteristics: lantern design, including gallery deck brackets, found on the Pelz design but tower is of a different design.

 

Poe (Great Lakes Standard Brick Tower Plan)
Lighthouse
State
Designer
Constructed
First Lighted
Status
Notes
St. Simons Island II GA Orlando M. Poe 1868?-1872 1872 active Charles B. Cluskey sometimes incorrectly credited as designer; he was actually the supervisor of construction
New Presque Island MI Orlando M. Poe 1870-1871 1871 active  
South Manitou Island III MI Orlando M. Poe 1871 1871 active dwelling predates the lighthouse (1858)
Grosse Point IL Orlando M. Poe 1872-1874 Mar 1, 1874 active  
Little Sable Point MI Orlando M. Poe 1873 early 1874 extant dwelling removed (1958)
Au Sable
(Grand Sable Point)
MI Orlando M. Poe 1873-1874 Aug 19, 1874    
Outer Island
(Apostle Islands)
WI Orlando M. Poe 1873-1874 Oct 20, 1874    
Twin River Point I
(Rawley Point I)
MI Orlando M. Poe 1873-1874 Dec 7, 1874 demolished (1895) structural issues caused by defective bricks
replaced by new skeletal lighthouse
Wind Point WI Orlando M. Poe 1880 Nov 15, 1880    
Seul Choix Point MI Orlando M. Poe 1891-1895 Aug 15, 1895 active  

Defining Characteristics: conical brick tower, arched watchroom windows, simple iron brackets supporting gallery deck, taller than normal lantern room, lantern glass in vertical rectangular panes, and attached keeper dwelling
Notes: Orlando Metcalfe Poe also designed the Spectacle Reef Lighthouse on Lake Huron, but using a different design.