Sketched August 8, 2013
Perfect timing. The morning low tide allowed me to walk far out on the beach south of Alki Point and find a good angle to sketch Seattle’s most-hidden lighthouse.
Boaters may be very familiar with the beacon that marks the southern entrance to Elliott Bay (Did you know it flashes every five seconds?). But for those of us spending all our time on dry land, it’s not easy to get a close look.
First, there are the beach houses surrounding the historic landmark, which turned 100 this summer. Though I was able to walk around them at low tide, I couldn’t help but feel I was sneaking into somebody’s backyard. Second, the lighthouse complex is an active Coast Guard station that houses the residence of the Commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, Rear Admiral Richard T. Gromlich. Walk by the entrance on Alki Avenue Southwest, and you realize this is not your typical tourist attraction.
But it’s still possible to visit the lighthouse. During the summers or by appointment, Coast Guard volunteers give free tours of the complex. If you don’t want to get your feet muddy as I did, you may want to stop by this weekend or next.