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Point Abino Light Tower National Historic Site of Canada

Point Abino Road, Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/07/15

Corner view of Point Abino Light Tower, showing its five-storey tapered, square column rising from a single-storey podium elaborated with classically derived decorative features, 1997.; Parks Canada Agency /Agence Parcs Canada, A. Powter, 1997.
Corner view
General view of Point Abino Light Tower, showing its location at the north-eastern end of Lake Erie.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.
General view
General view of Point Abino Light Tower, showing its unobstructed viewscape to and from the walkway leading to the shore.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.
General view

Other Name(s)

Point Abino Light Tower National Historic Site of Canada
Point Abino Light Tower
Phare de la point Abino
Point Abino Light Tower
Phare de Point Abino

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1917/01/01 to 1918/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/04/22

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.

Heritage Value

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.

Character-Defining Elements

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.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1998/07/15

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1917/01/01 to 2004/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Transport-Water
Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

William P. Anderson

Builder

Canadian Department of Marine and Fisheries

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

1849

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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