Arecibo

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    The Arecibo lighthouse entered service in 1898, months after the end of the Spanish-American war. It was designed by José María Sainz and built over the dark-sandstone promontory known as Punta Morrillos. The original concept was similar to those of the Aguadilla and Maunabo lighthouses, but later the tower’s height was reduced to 41 feet, its was made hexagonal instead of octagonal, and it was moved to the rear wall of the building. The fuel storage room was relocated under the tower and an arch was added to the cornice over the entrance door.

    The lighthouse measures 84 feet long by 40 feet wide and was originally painted  white with dark-gray details. The stairway and its handrail are almost identical to those of the Maunabo lighthouse. The third-order lens projected the light eighteen miles away. In 1931, the kerosene lamp was substituted by a bulb whose energy was generated for a while by a windmill mounted on the roof. Before 1949 the tower’s iron balustrade was substituted by a cement parapet and substantial renovations were done in 1959, which included the substitution of the brick roof by a concrete one. The lighthouse was automated and closed in 1964, after which it was vandalized on many occasions, the lens being destroyed between 1975 and 1977. Aprivate company restored the building in 2001, when a new lantern was installed. The lighthouse opens daily to the public as the main attraction of the Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park.

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