The Morrillos lighthouse is located on PR Route 66 in the municipality of Arecibo. It was built between 1897 and 1898 as a third-order lighthouse, with a light reaching 12 miles. It is one of the last lighthouses built in Puerto Rico as part of the general lighthouse plan of the Spanish government.
This lighthouse, along with those of Cabezas de San Juan and El Morro, illuminated the north coast of the island. The original basic structure was built of brick and consists of a rectangular building in neo-classical style with a hexagonal tower attached to the north side. The interior of the tower is cylindrical with a diameter of 20.5 meters (67 feet) and contains a spiral stairway of forged iron. The walls of the structure are brick. The roof was originally made of balata wood with rafters and bricks, but in 1959 it was replaced with a reinforced concrete roof. The hexagonal tower had a lantern made of forged iron, glass and copper and was surrounded by a balustrade also made of forged iron.
Originally, both the tower and the building were painted white with lead-gray details. The floors were white and gray marble, except in the lighthouse keeper’s living quarters, where they were wood.
In 1964, an automatic illumination system was installed. Over the passage of time, the structure deteriorated, principally due to vandalism. In 1994, a renovation project was completed and, today, the lighthouse not only continues working, but is also a museum and a park.
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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