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New Cape Henry Light

Cape Henry, Fort Story, VA, cir. 1792
New Cape Henry Light The New Cape Henry Light was completed in 1881 after numerous construction difficulties from problems landing materials to delays in delivery of the iron work. On December 14th, the light was taken from the Old Cape Henry tower and displayed in the first order lens of the new structure giving it a visible range of 18 3/4 nautical miles. The new tower stands 170 feet tall from base to tip and is considered one of the most important of the U.S. Atlantic coast lighthouses. Its alternating black and white paint pattern also makes it quite distinctive. In 1984 the light was changed to unmanned operation and soon afterwards the Coast Guard began to look at options for a less costly beacon. A steel tower was proposed along with demolition of the existing light. Luckily the Fifth District Commander, among others strongly opposed this option. The light continues to shine and be maintained as an active aid to navigation.


Location: Fort Story, Virginia Beach, VA, 3655'32", N 760'30" W
Date Built: Commissioned 1881
Type of Structure: Iron tower
Height: 170 feet
Foghorn: Yes
Appropriation: $100,000
Range: 18.5 miles
Status: Standing and Active
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