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Like so many other sites in St. Augustine, the Lighthouse is a cherished landmark from another era. It’s significant for two main reasons—first because of its role as a vital watchtower that led ships safely into the St. Augustine port for more than a hundred years and second because of its longstanding survival as an architectural icon to the city. The original lighthouse was closed in 1874 on the same day that the new one was completed.
The government closed the first one because it was believed that it was no longer safe and hauntingly, they were correct; it crashed into the sea during a storm just two years later.
Today, the Lighthouse is one of only 30 lighthouses in the United States that is still standing.
It’s also one of six that is open to the public. Visitors who come enjoy touring through the 19th century lightkeeper’s home that was lovingly restored through efforts of the Junior Service League. They also get a thrill walking to the top of the tower. It’s an awe-inspiring climb for people of all ages.