Alki Point Lighthouse

West Seattle, Washington - 1913 (1887**)

Photo of the Alki Point Lighthouse.

History of the Alki Point Lighthouse

Posted/Updated by Bryan Penberthy on 2006-02-06.

It has been read in many books that early settlers called this area "New York" given the geographic qualities the area had were similar to New York City. But when developers and government officials passed over the area, many locals started calling it "Alki Point." This name was a Chinook Indian word meaning "all in a good time."

The Government did not build a lighthouse on this point until 1913, however it is written that some local landowners would hang a latern from a tree to help mariners. This was in the 1880s, but in 1887 the US Lighthouse Service made some improvements to the lighting apparatus and began paying the landowner $15.00 a month to maintain the light. The current tower in the photos here was built in 1913, when the US Lighthouse Service built a full-fledged station. This tower stands 37 feet tall, is made of concrete, and originally housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens. As far as automation, I found two conflicting dates. Several sites and books list the automation date as 1970, but the USCG site lists 1984. The lighthouse marks the southern entrance to Elliott Bay and Puget Sound.

Directions: From SR-99 (Alaskan Way) take the West Seattle Bridge to cross over Elliott Bay and pick up SW Admiral's Way. At 63rd Ave. SW, take a right and head north until you reach Alki Ave SW. Take a left and follow this to the end. At this point, you can see the Alki Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse is not open to the public, and is tucked in behind some houses, however, you can still get some good photos of it.

Access: Grounds and tower open during tours.

View more Alki Point Lighthouse pictures
Tower Information
Tower Height: 37.00'
Focal Plane: 39'
Active Aid to Navigation: Yes
*Latitude: 47.57600 N
*Longitude: -122.42000 W
See this lighthouse on Google Maps.


* Please note that all GPS coordinates are approximated and are meant to put you in the vicinity of the lighthouse, not for navigation purposes.

** This year denotes a station date. This is the year that a lighthouse was first reported in the vicinity or at that location.

All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. No content may be used without written permission. Any questions or comments, please email me.