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THE BUFFALO LIGHTHOUSE

The Buffalo Lighthouse at 1 Fuhrmann Blvd. is one of the city's oldest buildings and its most enduring landmark, standing at a symbolic point in Buffalo Harbor where Lake Erie meets the land.

Built in 1833 of ashlar limestone and bluestone on a man-made stone breakwater, the 44-foot-tall octagonal tower is one of the oldest on the Great Lakes. It appears on the city's official seal.

The 10-sided steel and iron cylindrical section atop the stone tower was added in 1857 to increase the height of the light and make it visible to sailors from a greater distance. It was known as the "Chinaman's Light" because of the Chinese-hat shape of its top.

It relinquished its official role as a navigational aid in 1914 when another lighthouse was built. Since 1961, boaters have been guided by an automatic light on the outer harbor breakwater.

Protests over a proposal to demolish the lighthouse in the late 1950s led to the start of the city's architectural preservation movement. It was the first of many noteworthy 19th-century structures to be saved from the wrecking ball.

Since 1985, it has been maintained and refurbished by a non-profit group, the Buffalo Lighthouse Association, which has spent more than $150,000 on restoration work.

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