Buffalo Main Light

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Buffalo Main Light
Buffalo Main Light as seen through a periscope on board the USS Little Rock (CG-4)
Buffalo Main Light is located in New York
Buffalo Main Light
LocationBuffalo River, Buffalo, New York
Coordinates42°52′49″N 78°53′45″W / 42.88028°N 78.89583°W / 42.88028; -78.89583Coordinates: 42°52′49″N 78°53′45″W / 42.88028°N 78.89583°W / 42.88028; -78.89583
Year first lit1833
Deactivated1914 Edit this on Wikidata
FoundationStone molehead
ConstructionLimestone and cast iron
Tower shapeOctagonal
Tower height60 feet (18 m)
Focal height23 metre Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicF W Edit this on Wikidata
ARLHS numberUSA-090
Heritageplace listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata
Buffalo Main Light
Area0.5 acres (0.20 ha)
MPSU.S. Coast Guard Lighthouses and Light Stations on the Great Lakes TR
NRHP reference #84002383[1]
Added to NRHPJuly 19, 1984

Buffalo (Main) Light is a lighthouse at the mouth of Buffalo River/Erie canal, directly across from the Erie Basin Marina in Buffalo, New York.


The lighthouse was established and lit in 1833 and was deactivated in 1914. The foundation material was stone molehead and the lighthouse was constructed out of limestone and cast iron. The shape of the tower was octagonal and was 60 feet (18 m) high. The lens installed in 1857 was a third order Fresnel lens. The lens was later removed to the Buffalo History Museum.[2]

This 60-foot-tall, octagonal limestone structure is the oldest still standing in its original location in the city of Buffalo. It replaced the original 1818 light on this site along the Lake Erie shore at the mouth of the Buffalo River. Presently, it is part of an outdoor museum located on the grounds of the United States Coast Guard Station.[2]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.[1]

In 2010, the Coast Guard announced it would relinquish 4.6 acres (1.9 ha) of its 31 acres (13 ha) on the point and Congressman Brian Higgins obtained over $6 million to reconfigure the Coast Guard station to allow public access to the lighthouse. In April 2011, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation approved a grant of $170,700 to repair and restore the lighthouse in anticipation of public tours. The work was completed in August 2011.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Archived from the original (Searchable database) on 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2016-07-01. Note: This includes Carol Poh Miller (May 1979). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: HAER Inventory: Great Lakes Lighthouse Survey (Buffalo Main Light)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-01.

Further reading[edit]

  • Oleszewski, Wes. Great Lakes Lighthouses, American and Canadian: A Comprehensive Directory/Guide to Great Lakes Lighthouses, (Gwinn, Michigan: Avery Color Studios, Inc., 1998) ISBN 0-932212-98-0.
  • Scott T. Price. "U. S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation: A Historical Bibliography". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office.
  • U.S. Coast Guard. Historically Famous Lighthouses (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1957).
  • Wright, Larry and Wright, Patricia. Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia Hardback (Erin: Boston Mills Press, 2006) ISBN 1-55046-399-3

External links[edit]

Media related to Buffalo Lighthouse at Wikimedia Commons