The Washington Admiralty Head Lighthouse is one of the oldest buildings in Washington. It was finished in 1861 and rebuilt in 1903. The 18 inch thick-walled building was the last of the brick buildings designed by the renowned German architect, Carl Leick. Due to its thick and firm walls, the building withstands the earthquakes which rock Whidbey Island and the Western parts of Washington time and again.
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The lighthouse was built to guide ships into the shores of Whidbey Island where they could fill up their sails with wind. Whereas the Fresnel lens of Admiralty Head was extinguished in 1922, the building is still open and very beautiful. It currently serves as an educational and tourism center; run by Washington State University Island County Extension Lighthouse Docent Program.
The building is currently owned by the Washington State Parks Commission which, together with Washington State University Island County Extension Lighthouse Docent Program, keep it open and guide tourists in and out of the building as well as maintain its beauty.
In addition to hosting tours, the building is open for weddings and parties. Its rich culture and history (which keeps being researched, documented, and archived) is preserved in form of photos, exhibits, tours, events, directions, and contact information as well as links to other resources related to the lighthouse.
People are encouraged to become members of the Keepers of Admiralty Head Lighthouse. This enables the Washington Admiralty Head Lighthouse to be taken care of and preserved for its beauty and historic value.
As a way of making the lighthouse a shining example of northwest maritime history in addition to giving visitors access to the building and promoting people’s knowledge; hence making them appreciate the lighthouse, the Washington State University Island County Lighthouse Docent Program does the following:
• Gives educational tours, events and exhibitions to people- this is usually done by trained people who have much knowledge about the origin and history of the lighthouse over the years
• Oversees that trained volunteer docents open the lighthouse and guide people round because they know the building inside out
• Restores the lighthouse and promotes its restoration by others
• Researches and archives the lighthouse’s history
• Manages the historical artifacts of the lighthouse collected over time and manages them