Three Lighthouses and a River Light


River Light is an interactive public art installation that transforms the riverbanks into illuminated galleries. These interactive lights operate on a weekly program from half an hour before sunset until midnight, providing visitors with a stunning spectacle.

Sensors built into lighted pillars interact with visitors to change colors and patterns; at the top of every hour, lights flash with an hour number corresponding to that hour.

The Roanoke River Light

This lighthouse is an unforgettable destination for history enthusiasts of all kinds. As the last original screw-pile lighthouse still standing today, its presence alone is remarkable! Screw-pile lighthouses differ from their more conventional counterparts by being built using piles that screw into the ground rather than being anchored directly in sand or mud, typically used to mark river entrances and harbor entrances.

The current Edenton Lighthouse was completed in 1887 and stands on Edenton Bay near Edenton in North Carolina. Initially, it stood near Albemarle Sound near Roanoke River, but after being damaged by fire and ice, it was relocated here after a fire damaged its predecessor. It comprised a white, square wood tower attached to a two-story keeper house, with fourth-order Fresnel lens housing in its dome.

The lighthouse has been fully restored thanks to the efforts of three individuals from Elizabeth City: former U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy, a blind Irishman, and Edenton tugboat captain Anthony Whiteley. The exterior restoration took place in early 2010, and its interior has been repainted and upgraded since. Now open to the public as one of many sites within Historic Edenton, our “Love at the Lighthouse” package promises you and your special someone an unforgettable romantic journey: two nights stay at Inner Banks Inn, a deluxe bottle of wine, delicious sweet treats shared!

The Detroit River Light

Grosse Ile’s sparkplug lighthouse stands out against its wooded background with its striking brick color. Completed in 1885, this sparkplug structure replaced a lightship that had been present here since 1875, helping navigate vessels making turns on Detroit River upbound vessels.

The 49-foot cast iron plate tower sits atop a prefabricated 45×18 crib that was brought from Amherstburg, Ontario, and installed into 22 feet of water, filled with concrete, and surrounded by a granite pier shaped like the bow of a vessel aimed toward breaking up any ice flows coming downriver. The unique shape of this pier gives this light station its distinct appearance; its pointed end points toward the river mouth to break through any potential ice flows that may form.

During Prohibition, this light served as a meeting place for rum runners. Thanks to its proximity to Windsor City, it also became a center for the distillation of Canadian whiskey, which was often exported back into the US market.

The lighthouse remains active and can still be seen from a boat. However, the Detroit Lighthouse Society has begun raising money to restore it – estimated to cost anywhere from $500,000-to $1 Million, depending on the extent of work needed – by hosting fundraisers and accepting donations with hopes of completing restoration prior to celebrating its centennial anniversary later this year.

The Grand Central Terminal Mosaic

New York City Transit’s Grand Central Madison station opens this month to commuters, and two large-scale glass mosaics by artists Yayoi Kusama and Kiki Smith will grace its subterranean expanse. Commissioned through a competitive process, these large artworks aim to capture people’s attention while creating a presence within its 700,000-square-foot train terminal stretching between 42nd Street and 48th Street along Madison Avenue.

Kusama’s works, from her Infinity Rooms at Louis Vuitton stores to the psychedelic tulips on the ceiling of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have long drawn crowds and ignited conversations. Two glass mosaics at Grand Central Madison called River Light and Manhattan Sky also draw crowds and provoke dialogue; their vibrant palette of Volakas marble with its beautiful white color and grey veining create a fascinating display that has won her widespread praise.

At Madison concourse, travelers will first come upon River Light – an almost 800 square foot mosaic inspired by how sunlight glints off of the East River at its boundary between Manhattan and Long Island – before encountering four more mosaics on mezzanine level depicting Long Island-related flora and fauna – The Water’s Way describing deer with gold foil reeds while The Presence wall at 46th Street features fowl nestled into forest growth.

The Plymouth Lighthouse

At the tip of Plymouth’s Gurnet Peninsula, a lighthouse was constructed in 1768 to assist navigation through Plymouth Harbor and protect mariners from Saquish Head’s dangerous shoals. As the first twin lighthouse ever created, its purpose was to aid navigation on entering its waters while protecting from Saquish Head’s hazardous shoals. It was built on property owned by John Thomas and Hannah Thomas (later deceased in 1812), who also served as its keepers until Hannah Thomas passed away Keeper.

In 1902, Smeaton’s Tower opened with its 93-step spiral staircase and quickly became a tourist attraction. Since that time, Plymouth Lighthouse has been maintained by Project Gurnet and Bug Lights (a non-profit organization that leases the property from the Coast Guard) while keeping it, including 1963 ranch-style keepers’ quarters for keepers. Visitors are welcome to climb to its lantern for breathtaking views across Plymouth Harbor, Sound, Plymouth Breakwater, Rame Head, and Eddystone Lighthouse when weather allows!

This lighthouse is just one of many being made available free of charge through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 as part of an ambitious program authorized by that legislation. Over 150 lighthouses have already been transferred, given away, or auctioned since this act’s passage, raising over $10 million. Other local lighthouses that are being offered include Warwick Neck in Rhode Island and Nobska Light in Falmouth, Massachusetts – among many more!