The Mona Island lighthouse is located on the east side of the island, which is, in turn, 73.6 kilometers (45.7 miles) off the west coast of Puerto Rico. It is the largest lighthouse in Puerto Rico and the only one built of iron and steel. Its construction began in 1888 and was completed between 1898 and 1900.
Two different plans for its construction were created between 1885 and 1886. Under the first set of plans, the lighthouse was designed to be a second-order lighthouse with an octagonal tower and would emit a white ray of light with a radius of 22 miles. The building would have 25 rooms around a central patio and capacity for three lighthouse keepers. However, this was not the design that was finally used. The first reference to the lighthouse that exists today dates to 1894 and alludes to the construction of a metal lighthouse, so it is presumed that the second set of plans was used for the design.
The iron tower is separate from the other structures and there are living quarters for one lighthouse keeper and his family. In the interior of the lighthouse is a spiral staircase, also made of iron. The lantern, which has 12 sides, measure 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) and is activated by a timing system. In 1938, an electric mechanism was installed and in 1973 an automatic system was installed. The lighthouse has not been in service since 1976.
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.
Autor: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: December 29, 2009.
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