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Buffalo Main Light
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
N 42° 52.667 W 078° 53.367
17T E 672370 N 4749403
Quick Description: The Buffalo Main Light is the lighthouse at the mouth of the Buffalo River where it meets Lake Erie.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 5/7/2006 7:38:41 PM
Waymark Code: WMC5K
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Special.Ed
Views: 20

Long Description:
Located on the Coast Guard base across from the Erie Basin Marina, the lighthouse is a conspicuous symbol of Buffalo's past and present. Built in 1833, it is the oldest building on Buffalo's waterfront and one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It is the second of four lighthouses to serve as Buffalo's light. The base, up to the cornice, dates from 1833, while everything above it dates from 1857.

The light stands near the end of a long stone pier which can be called the foundation of Buffalo, originally having been laid down by Samuel Wilkeson in 1820. (The first Buffalo light stood at the shore end of the pier.) It created a sheltered harbor along the previously untamed shore.

The lighthouse is constructed of ashlar limestone and bluestone, and is one year younger than Buffalo itself (chartered as a city in 1832). The tower is 68 feet tall and tapers from a 20-foot diameter at the base, where the walls are four feet thick, to a 12-foot diameter at the top, where the walls are two feet thick.

In 1914 the lens was taken from this tower to one built just behind the outer harbor breakwater. The breakwater light then became the principal, or third, Buffalo light. A fourth light, a 71-foot white tower on the breakwater itself, has been the main light since 1963.

Unused and deteriorating, the 1833 light was almost demolished in the late 1950's. After a proper hue and cry it was saved and restored by 1961. Further restoration in the late 1980's resulted in floodlighting of the tower's shaft and illumination of the cupola.

The light cannot be reached by the public as it is currently on US Coast Guard property. It can best be viewed from the other side of the river, at the Buffalo Erie Basin Marina.
Street address:
Coast Guard Station Road
Buffalo, NY United States

County / Borough / Parish: Erie

Year listed: 1984

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1825-1849, 1850-1874, 1900-1924

Historic function: Defense, Transportation: Coast Guard Facility, Water-Related

Current function: Vacant/Not In Use

Privately owned?: no

Season start / Season finish: From: 1/1/2015 To: 12/31/2015

Hours of operation: From: 6:00 AM To: 9:00 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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stinger503 visited Buffalo Main Light 4/3/2017 stinger503 visited it
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Szuchie visited Buffalo Main Light 9/16/2012 Szuchie visited it
uccacher visited Buffalo Main Light 7/24/2011 uccacher visited it
Peter and Gloria visited Buffalo Main Light 9/12/2009 Peter and Gloria visited it
Rayman visited Buffalo Main Light 9/9/2008 Rayman visited it

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