The Punta Mulas lighthouse is located west of the port of Isabel II, the main town on the island municipality of Vieques. The structure dates to 1895 and was a sixth-order lighthouse used locally to guide ships through the Vieques passage, a strait that is dangerous because it is formed by a chain of reefs known as the Caballo blanco.
The single-story rectangular structure was built in the neo-classical style with three doors on each side. The tower is octagonal and located in the center of the floor, which allows access from the vestibule. A forged iron spiral stairway leads to the lantern, which is cylindrical in shape and made of forged iron, copper, and glass. Originally, it was covered with teak wood. The exterior gallery is made of brick and is surrounded by a forged iron balustrade.
The original structure was altered several times during the 1940s, including the replacement of the original brick roof with one of reinforced concrete. In 1949, an automatic illumination system was installed. Today, it is still in operation and in good condition, as the municipal government has taken responsibility for rehabilitating it.
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: December 30, 2009.
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