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New Canal Lighthouse
New Basin Canal Lighthouse 2013 - New Orleans, Louisiana.jpg
New Basin Canal entrance at Lake Pontchartrain
Location West End Blvd. and Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans, Louisiana
Coordinates 30°1′37.6″N 90°6′47.55″W / 30.027111°N 90.1132083°W / 30.027111; -90.1132083Coordinates: 30°1′37.6″N 90°6′47.55″W / 30.027111°N 90.1132083°W / 30.027111; -90.1132083
Year first constructed 1838
Year first lit 1890 (last lighthouse)
Automated Yes
Foundation Pile with platform
Construction Wood
Tower shape Square tower on top of house
Markings / pattern White with red roof
Focal height Lighthouse: 49 feet (15 m)
Current pole light: 15 feet (4.6 m)
Original lens 5th order Fresnel lens
Characteristic Lighthouse: Occulting White 5s
Current pole light: Fl 2 White 5s
Fog signal Previous: Bell, every ten seconds
ARLHS number USA-556
USCG number 4-9992

The New Canal Light or (more commonly New Canal Lighthouse or New Basin Canal Lighthouse) was first established in 1838 at the north end of the New Basin Canal which ran from Lake Pontchartrain to the Uptown or "American" section of the city which today is known as the New Orleans Central Business District. The canal was filled in about 1950, but the lighthouse remained on a jetty extending into the lake on a half mile long stretch of the canal that was left and is still used as a small boat and yachting harbor.

History

The original lighthouse was built in 1838 on a foundation of sheet piling filled in with shells. The tower was octagonal, built of cypress, about 28 feet (8.5 m) high. The tower deteriorated badly and was replaced in 1855 with a square wood dwelling on screw piles with an iron lantern and a 5th order Fresnel lens. In 1890 the structure was again replaced, with the light being raised to 49 feet (15 m). The 1890 structure was substantially rebuilt in 1901. It was damaged by hurricanes in 1903, 1915, 1926, and 1927. It was moved to its current location in 1910. After the 1927 damage it was raised on new concrete piers and in 1936, the breakwater surrounding it was filled in, putting land under the structure for the first time. From the 1960s through 2001 there was a USCG station at the site.

The lighthouse was heavily damaged during the 2005 hurricane season by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The first floor had collapsed and its cupola had fallen off. In 2006, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation signed a lease with the United States Coast Guard to repair the damaged lighthouse. It was disassembled and the building was put into storage. Reconstruction of the lighthouse began in February 2012 and was completed in 2013 by Certified Construction Professional of New Orleans, LA..

The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 as the New Canal Lighthouse.

It is now operated as the New Canal Lighthouse Museum and Education Center by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. The museum's exhibits include the history of the lighthouse, the environment and ecology of the Pontchartrain Basin, a Fresnel lens that was believed to have been in the lighthouse in the early 1900s, the work of the Foundation, and area history and recreation.

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