Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Absecon Lighthouse

New Jersey Historic Preservation Bond Program
Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund
Grant Award: $993,430 (1996);$88,560 (2020)
Grant Recipient: Inlet Public/Private Association, Inc.
County: Atlantic
Municipality: Atlantic City

A symbol of Atlantic City early in this century, the Absecon Lighthouse may have been a prototype for the modern "first-order" lighthouses in the United States. Its powerful beacon could be seen from 20 nautical miles. The lighthouse retains its original first-order Fresnel lens, which was crafted in France as an eight-sided, three-tiered assembly of glass prisms glazed into bronze ribs.

Built in 1855 at the original terminus of the railroad that brought visitors to Atlantic City, the lighthouse did double duty as sentry and tourist attraction. The 2020 Trust grant will help fund materials testing and investigative probes, in preparation for interior and exterior restoration. The 1996 Trust grant focused on safety improvements--particularly for the lighthouse's spiral stairway--as well as restoration of the interior watch deck and lantern. 

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