El Morro lighthouse

El Morro lighthouse

A third-order lighthouse was built at Castillo San Felipe del Morro in 1876. The structure of the lighthouse consisted of an octagonal base of brick that supported an iron tower colored gray and white. The lantern, also octagonal, had a copper cupola. In 1898, due to the bombardment of San Juan by U.S. troops, the lantern and the iron tower were destroyed. In 1899, under the direction of the U.S. Navy, the tower was rebuilt in reinforced concrete, but retaining the original octagonal shape. Between 1905 and 1906, a crack formed through and around the upper part of the tower and led to its demolition.

In 1908, the lighthouse was rebuilt. Using the octagonal base built by the Spanish, a new square tower was constructed, made of brick and painted gray. It had three levels and an iron lantern. Part of the old brick construction was maintained on the first level, which currently houses a vestibule and a storeroom. On the second level is an observation area, a small bedroom, and a small living room. On the third level are the iron lantern and a room for the lenses. An automatic illumination system was installed in 1962 and is still in operation.

Although it was initially built to replace the original lighthouse at the Castillo San Felipe del Morro that was built in 1846, in the late 19th century, the 1876 lighthouse was the main one that lit the north coast of Puerto Rico along with those of Cabezas de San Juan in Farjado and los Morillos in Arecibo.

Adapted by the PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Catalog of properties, National Register of Historic Sites, State Office of Historic Conservation, Office of the Governor, 1995.


The Lighthouse System of Puerto Rico, 1846-1979. Oficina Estatal de Conservación Histórica, Oficina del Gobernador 1995.

Sánchez Terry, Miguel Angel. Los faros españoles de ultramar, Madrid: Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte, Centro de Publicaciones, 1992.

Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 04, 2014.

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