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Cape Henry Lighthouse

There are two lighthouses located at Cape Henry within Fort Story military base near north end of Virginia Beach.

The original Cape Henry Lighthouse has long been important for the large amount of ocean-going shipping traffic for the harbors, its rivers, and shipping headed to ports on the Chesapeake Bay.

It was the first lighthouse authorized by the U.S. government, dating from 1792. It was also the first federal construction project under the Constitution, for an original contract amount of $15,200 (an additional $2,500 was required to finish the lighthouse).

A newer structure stands nearby, so there are actually two lighthouses at Cape Henry. The older lighthouse was acquired in 1930 by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (Now APVA Preservation Virginia). A brick lining and an iron stairway have been added to the interior. The lighthouse is open to the public and a fine view can be enjoyed from its observation platform. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on January 29, 1964. In 2002 the American Society of Civil Engineers designated the lighthouse a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

Important Note:

The Cape Henry Lighthouse is located within Fort Story military base. To visit the lighthouse, you must pass through the security gates of Fort Story. Please have identification including a picture with you for all visitors aged 18 years or older. The security personnel have the right to examine your car before issuing a pass to enter the military base and visit the lighthouse. While we apologize for the inconvenience, we respect the military's interest in force protection. The security guards are courteous and efficient, but please allow a few extra minutes for entry into the site. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Hours:

March 16 - October 31 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
November 1 - March 15 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Phone:

(757) 422-9421

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