Point Abino Light Tower National Historic Site of Canada
Point Abino Light Tower
Phare de la point Abino
Links and documents
1917/01/01 to 1918/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Point Abino Light Tower National Historic Site of Canada is an elegantly proportioned, classically detailed concrete lighthouse situated at the eastern end of Lake Erie near Crystal Beach and the town of Fort Erie, Ontario. Designed in the late Classical Revival style, the lighthouse consists of a square, slightly tapered volume rising from one end of a rectangular, flat-roofed, single-storey base. It sits just offshore and is joined to the nearby beach by a slightly elevated concrete walkway, leading to the light keeper’s residence onshore. Official recognition refers to the legal property boundary at the time of designation.
Point Abino Light Tower was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1998 to acknowledge:
- its exceptional architectural merit as one of the most aesthetically enriched reinforced concrete lighthouses in the Canadian system of navigational aids; and,
- that the tower, rendered in the late Classical Revival style and housing an integrated light and fog horn, has maintained a high degree of integrity with its site and light keeper’s dwelling since its construction in 1917-18.
The heritage value of Point Albino Light Tower lies in the architectural and functional qualities of the tower and in its setting with its former lightkeeper’s residence. Point Abino Light Tower was designed by William P. Anderson and constructed by the Canadian Department of Marine and Fisheries in 1917-18 to assist navigation at the eastern end of Lake Erie. The late Classical Revival design, intended to complement the American-owned summer homes nearby, was more elaborate than most Canadian lighthouses. The former light keeper’s residence is discretely sited and sympathetically rendered as an Arts-and-Crafts-style cottage. The light has operated continuously since it was built, although today it is automated and accessible for public viewing.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, July 1998.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location at the north-eastern end of Lake Erie;
- its offshore setting with the nearby onshore former lightkeeper’s residence;
- its functional design with a combined tower and fog horn house, and a lightkeeper’s room at its base;
- the Fresno lens and surviving light equipment;
- its late Classical Revival design with its five-storey tapered, square column rising from a single-storey podium elaborated with classically derived decorative features, including symmetrically organized openings, pedimented window surrounds, pronounced faux-keystones, bracketed cornice, relieving arches, classical cross-braced balustrades, and corner pilasters;
- the polygonal domed light casing and the formal approach up to the grand staircase leading to the pedimented entry portico;
- its reinforced concrete construction;
- its continued operation as a lighthouse;
- its unobstructed viewscape to and from the walkway leading to the shore and the former lightkeeper’s residence and the north-eastern end of Lake Erie.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1917/01/01 to 2004/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Architect / Designer
William P. Anderson
Canadian Department of Marine and Fisheries
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec.
Cross-Reference to Collection