Building Description Pensacola Lighthouse, Pensacola Florida

The outside diameter of the tower at the base measures 28 feet. It is 166 feet high, with the top of the tower vent being 205 feet above sea level. The attached storage building is approximately 20' x 22'. The first keeper's quarters is 24'8" x 42'8" with a screened porch 13'9" wide across the front. The two-story keeper's house measures 27'8" x 46'6" with its porches extending 6'-6".

The lighthouse foundation and that of the storage building is dressed granite. Rough cut granite blocks approximately 24" x 36" extend outward and downward to form a spread footing for the tower. According to an 1870 Lighthouse Board drawing, the footing extends 8 feet below grade with a diameter of 40 feet at the bottom resting on an additional 3 feet of concrete.

In order to be visible from the sea, the bottom third of the brick tower, with walls 10 feet thick at the base, is painted white for contrast against the tree canopy, while the top two-thirds which tapers to 3 feet in thickness is painted black for contrast against the sky. The lens house is of sheet metal, painted black, and is glazed. The brick storage building walls at the exterior and the interior are brick painted white.

The lighthouse tower has a 36 inch wide heavy plate metal walkway around its circumference at the top. A cast-iron railing 43-3/4" high has 16-1/4" diameter posts that receive a 3-1/2" diameter cast-iron ball. Each is die stamped with a number from 1 to 16 which corresponds to the 16 points on the compass to aid the observer on the walkway for direction orientation. A top and bottom rail support 1" diameter balusters 7" on center.

The lighthouse tower contains a lO'-O" diameter stairway shaft that leads to a landing immediately below the lens house. From this landing a stairway rises to the lens house. Access to the stairway on the first floor is through a central hallway of the storage building flanked on either side by two narrow rooms. Access to the second floor apartment is from the tower stairway through a corbeled brick vault built into the space between the inner and outer walls of the tower. The apartment contains two rooms including a living-sleeping room with a closet space and a bathroom with a shower stall.

The one-story frame keeper's quarters is on brick piers 8-1/2" x 12", painted white, spaced approximately 7'6" on center, and supporting the span of the 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" floor joists, spaced 24" on center. The two-story brick keeper's house has common bond brick walls painted white and 13" square brick piers that support 2-3/4" x 5-3/4" members that tie into the foundation wall. These members support 2-3/4" x 4" joists for the porch.