National Register of Historic Places in Mendocino County
This historic district has three contributing buildings and one contributing structure. The structure is the reinforced concrete lighthouse. The buildings are the fog signal station and two auxiliary buildings.
The original 1870 brick lighthouse at Point Arena collapsed in the earthquake of 1906. The US Lighthouse Service, seeking a sturdier structure, decided to use reinforced concrete in the replacement. This material, already popular throughout the country, had never been used to build a California lighthouse. When the Point Arena lighthouse began operation in 19O8, it became the first lighthouse of reinforced concrete in the state.
Built by a San Francisco chimney maker, the lighthouse rose 115 feet from its massive buttressing base to its lantern room on top. The circular stairway was salvaged from the 187O structure. The placement of the Fresnel lens in a vat of mercury was innovative.
The lighthouse has ridden out all earthquakes since 19O8. The light, furnished first by oil lamps and then by electricity, continues in service.
Adapted from the NRHP Nomination.
Historic lighthouses on the west coast:
Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City
Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Curry County, Oregon
East Brother Light Station, Contra Costa County
Fort Point Lighthouse, San Francisco
Point Arena Light Station, Mendocino County
Point Bonita Light Station, Marin County
Point Cabrillo Light Station, Mendocino County
Point Montara Light Station, San Mateo County
Point Reyes Light Station, Marin County
Pigeon Point Lighthouse, San Mateo County