Pierhead Lighthouse open to the public

As part of the Grill Games, a free admission festival, the Pierhead Lighthouse will be open to the public on Saturday, August 25th. The hours are from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. The lighthouse is located across the harbor from the festival grounds, 5001 Fourth Avenue.  The lighthouse’s private owner, John Burhani, will host an open house. The public can tour the historical 1906 lighthouse, which has not been open to the public for more than 50 years. You do not need to attend Grill Games to attend this open house.

This Kenosha Harbor landmark can be recognized from a distance by the powerful shade of red displayed on the lighthouse and it remains a functioning lighthouse to this day.

In 2006, the lighthouse on Kenosha’s Lakefront was first listed for sale after the Coast Guard deemed the lighthouse “excess.” Today, the lighthouse acts as an art studio under the possession of private owner and long-time Kenosha resident, Burhani, who purchased it in 2008. Burhani stated he is one of only four private citizens in America who owns a former federal lighthouse.

From the top of the lighthouse, see a remarkable panorama of dozens of miles out over Lake Michigan and along the shoreline. Visitors to the lighthouse can also see the first renovations Burhani has made inside it, including his new art studio that showcases his paintings of Lake Michigan.

Visitors should be aware that climbing the steps and steel ladders to the top of the lighthouse requires physical effort, and personal caution must be used. To help with the preservation of the lighthouse, the tours will require a donation:  $5 per adult and $1 per child.

The Pierhead Lighthouse is located on Simmons Island at the end of the north pier, directly across the harbor from the Grill Games 2012 Kenosha Lakefront location. Parking is available on the street east of the Kenosha Yacht Club. Take Sheridan Road to 50th Street. Travel east, across the bridge to Simmons Island. Follow the road around to the south, to 51st Place. Travel east to the red Pierhead Lighthouse.

On this one-day only, tour two lighthouses! Also open is the 1866 Southport Lighthouse at the Southport Light Station Museum, 5117 Fourth Avenue.  It’s open from mid-May through October:  Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays 12 noon to 4 p.m. The cost is $10/adult and $5 for children 8-12 years old.  You must be 8 or older to climb.

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