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Building the Lights ...elements of lighthouse architecture

Lighthouses demonstrate the creativity and ingenuity of the people who built them. The architects and builders of lighthouses used proven techniques as well as developed new ones in an effort to provide better navigational aids. The ability to place lighthouses on small islands of rock amid the crashing waves of the open sea or reaching hundreds of feet toward the sky from a sandy shore is the result the cumulative and ever-advancing field of architecture.

Although Lighthouses have been built with a variety of materials, such as wood, stone, concrete and iron in a variety of different styles, such as piles, caisson, and various tower types, they all have had a basic structural purposes in common: to place powerful lights atop uniquely marked structures in a favorable position for alerting ships of nearby hazards and guiding them along our coasts and harbors.