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Kenosha North Pier Light facts for kids

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Kenosha North Pier Light
Kenosha North Pier Lighthouse.jpg
Kenosha North Pier Lighthouse

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Location Kenosha, Wisconsin
Coordinates 42°35′19.7″N 87°48′30.83″W / 42.588806°N 87.8085639°W / 42.588806; -87.8085639
Year first constructed 1906
Year first lit 1906
Foundation Concrete pier
Construction Cast iron
Tower shape Frustum of a cone
Markings / pattern Red, black lantern and parapet
Height 50 feet (15 m)
Focal height 50 feet (15 m)
Original lens Fourth-order Fresnel lens
Current lens 9.8-inch (250 mm) Tideland Signal acrylic optic Fresnel lens
Range 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi)
Characteristic Red, Isophase, 6 sec
ARLHS number USA-416
USCG number 7-20415

The Kenosha North Pier lighthouse or Kenosha Light is a lighthouse located near Kenosha in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. "A typical 'Lake Michigan red tower'", it is a sibling to the Milwaukee Pierhead Light. This light was built in 1906 as a replacement for the old Kenosha Light. It was listed on the National register of Historic Places in 2008.


The station was established in 1856. This pierhead light is one of a succession of lighthouses in this location, which were needed as the structures were destroyed by natural processes, or became obsolete as the piers were greatly extended.

The current lighthouse was built in 1906. It stands 50 feet tall, with a gently tapered shape, topped with a cylindrical lantern. The walls of the tower are cast iron plates. Inside the tower, the first story is 12 feet six inches in diameter. From the first story, a curving cast iron stairway ascends to the second story. The third story contains meteorological equipment which is connected to the lantern above. A steel ladder leads to a trapdoor in the ceiling. The fourth story is the lantern room, which contains a modern acrylic beacon.

Located on the north pier, the pierhead light is listed in the United States Coast Guard light list and the United States Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System as the Kenosha Light. It currently is painted red, but the lighthouse also has been painted white in the past. The adjacent south pier and breakwater also had lighthouses, but now have cylindrical navigational lights. These included fog signal buildings and elevated iron catwalks, all of which have been removed.

In June 2008, the Kenosha Pierhead Lighthouse was deemed "excess" by the Coast Guard. Pursuant to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, it was offered at no cost to eligible entities, including federal, state and local agencies, non-profit corporations, educational agencies, or community development organizations. A deadline of July 21 was created for qualified organizations to express interest. At this time, no organization came forward.

In 2011, the excess property was put up for auction and was purchased by Heather McGee and John Burhani. The lighthouse is currently being used as an art studio and gallery as its name now conveys; Kenosha Lighthouse Studio. Art shows, open to the public, can be found on the website. The Kenosha Lighthouse Studio is open for individual dinners/meetings and other events.


In Kenosha, cross the bridge to the island on 50th Street, and follow the road down to the beach at Simmons Island. From the beach, one can walk on the pier. The light is accessible for exterior inspection, but not open to the public.

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