North Point Lighthouse

North Point Lighthouse and Queen Anne-style Keeper's Quarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

North Point Lighthouse and Queen Anne-style Keeper's Quarters © 2011 Bo Mackison

The North Point Lighthouse and Quarter’s Keepers was the headquarters and first stop on the Wright and Like Tour held the weekend of June 10-12, 2011 in the Milwaukee area. The tour, an annual affair sponsored by the Frank Lloyd Wright® Wisconsin Heritage Tourism Program, Inc., included tours of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and other related architects. In addition to the lighthouse, there were thirteen homes on Saturday’s tour.

The North Point Light Station is in Lake Park, a north shore park, and situated on the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. It consists of a 74-foot lighthouse and two and wood-frame, Queen Anne-style Keeper’s Quarters.

Lake Park, with the lighthouse as its central structure, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1890s. Olmsted also designed New York’s Central Park and the grounds of the 1893 Chicago Exposition and was a leading American landscape architect of that era.

North Point Lighthouse Circular Staircase with Port Hole, Milwaukee Wisconsin

North Point Lighthouse Circular Staircase with Port Hole © 2011 Bo Mackison

This is the second lighthouse on this site. The original lighthouse, built in 1868, required replacement because it was not high enough to provide an adequate warning light.

Construction of the North Point Light Station was built in 1887-88. The lighthouse was placed atop a 39-foot high octagon shaped structure constructed entirely of bolted cast iron sections. The 1868 lens was placed in the new Lighthouse.

Foggy, Rainy, Through-a-Dirty-Window View of Lake Michigan from the North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Foggy, Rainy, Through-a-Dirty-Window, View of Lake Michigan from North Point Lighthouse © 2011 Bo Mackison

North Point Lighthouse and the Keeper’s Quarters were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The U.S. Coast Guard removed the lighthouse from service in 1994 and the original Fourth Order Fresnel lens was removed and stored by the U.S. Coast Guard in Milwaukee. The lighthouse was restored in 2007 to its original glory by the North Point Lighthouse Friends, Inc. It is open for weekend tours, and well worth the nominal cost.

We climbed to the top of the Lighthouse tower — certainly not for the view as it was foggy and rainy, and the windows had a layer of dust that obscured the view, even if it had been a clear day. No, we climbed the circular staircases for the thrill of climbing six flights of stairs in very tight quarters. Good for challenging both my claustrophobia and Sherpa’s acrophobia.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.


About Bo Mackison

I’m a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place – a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I’d love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It’s my gift to you.


  1. I love old lighthouses, and these are beautiful shots. Well done!

  2. Beautiful lighthouse. I guess in today’s technical world we forget about such things that were so vitally important and in so doing lose a bit more of our connection to the physical world.

  3. Gandalf says:

    A way cool lighthouse in Milwaukee? Who would have thunk that? Fascinating.

  4. Joanne Keevers says:

    There’s something quite romantic about a lighthouse I think and what a fantastic opportunity for you both, to climb to the top. 🙂

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