Michigan City Lighthouse, 1858

Washington Park, Michigan City, IN 46360

Architect/Designer:   U.S. Lighthouse Board


The Michigan City Lighthouse was modified to accommodate additional living quarters in 1904 and a new structure, the Michigan City East Pierhead light, was completed at the end of the Michigan City pier. The alterations removed the light and viewing deck, however, these features were reconstructed in the early 1970s. Constructed on a sloping grade the basement level is exposed along the west and north sides of the structure giving the lighthouse depth that is not apparent from the main entry. The combination of building materials gives the lighthouse a unique and dignified appearance. The basement and first story feature stone and brick work while the upper levels are wood siding. The main entry features a large circular porch and balcony, an arched second story window and a classically influenced pediment. Another significant feature is the construction date, 1858, written in brickwork along the west facing wall. A relatively simple structure, the Michigan City lighthouse is a fine example of the impact transportation and industrialization has had on architecture.


The Michigan City lighthouse is a major icon in the development of waterborne transportation and commerce throughout the Great Lakes States. One of the few lighthouses in Indiana, the Michigan City lighthouse, despite alterations and reconstruction, remains one of the great symbols of Indiana’s industrial waterfront.


National Register of Historic Places, 1974

Style: School house style with integrated tower

Owner (past/present):

Owner Past: U.S. Lighthouse Board

Current owner: Michigan City

Operated by: Michigan City Historical Society

Materials: Brick, Stone, Wood

Additions and/or changes with date:

1904 structure remodeled to remove light tower and deck, interior altered to accommodate three living quarters.

1970s original light tower and deck restored

Historic use/current use:

Historic use: Lighthouse

Current use: Museum

Is building open to the public?: Yes, seasonal tours

Condition: Good

Website and/or sources of information:

Information and tours: http://www.oldlighthousemuseum.org/

Research Sources:

Old Lighthouse Museum. “Lighthouse History.” Last updated March 14, 2015.http://www.oldlighthousemuseum.org/lighhouse_history.html

National Register of Historic Places, Michigan City Lighthouse, Michigan City, La Porte, IN, 19741105. 1974. http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/nrhp/text/74000023.PDF