With California’s Gold Rush came a thousand ships, some destined for a dark and splintery end on Pacific Coast rocks. Of the navigational aids constructed to lessen the danger, the tallest was Pigeon Point Lighthouse, fitted with a 24-beam 1000-watt first-order Fresnel lens.
For more than a century, the original lens signalled the point, until keepers installed a modern beacon in 1974. The new light, although more efficient and maintainable, lacked the elegance of the original.
To recreate history, once a year, the stewards of Pigeon Point light up the original lens, again sending 24 slowly-rotating, concentrated rays outward into space.
Part of the Functionally Structural series.