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North Point Lighthouse Reopens

The North Point Lighthouse is announcing that the museum will reopen beginning the weekend of April 8-9 after being temporarily closed for restoration work since January. The work involved removing and replacing damaged floors on the museum’s gallery level.

The lighthouse will resume its normal public hours and be open throughout the year on Saturdays and Sundays, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for tours. Through the efforts of lighthouse directors, staff and volunteers, all museum artifacts and exhibits have been put back in place in preparation for the reopening on Saturday, April 8.

Visitors to the museum will discover how the lighthouse served the Great Lakes maritime industry, see artifacts and exhibits about the ships that sailed Lake Michigan, and learn about the keepers who maintained the lighthouse. Visitors can also climb the 74-foot tall tower for a spectacular 360° view of Lake Park, Lake Michigan and downtown Milwaukee.

For more information about public hours and admission, visit northpointlighthouse.org

The floor restoration is one of several initiatives that the North Point Lighthouse Friends has undertaken to enhance and improve the keeper’s quarters, tower and grounds. In August 2016, the exterior of the museum and tower was repainted. In September 2016, a new permeable paver driveway and parking area was installed to filter and redirect storm water from the driveway and museum roof into two rain gardens on the grounds. This spring, native plants will be established in the rain gardens that will filter storm water runoff.

In addition to the reopening of the museum, the North Point Lighthouse Friends, in cooperation with Milwaukee County, is also restarting and completing the installation of a green infrastructure storm water management system at the bottom of the South Lighthouse Ravine in Lake Park. The treatment system includes restoring the downstream eroded end of the South Ravine using regenerative storm water conveyance (RSC), an innovative, green infrastructure approach to storm water management that is new to Wisconsin. RSC consists of a series of pools, riffles and cascades typical to stream and ravine restoration. An underlying layer of stones and soil within each pool will allow for additional storm water filtration and treatment.

The step-pool system will filter and direct excess storm water from the lighthouse property and surrounding neighborhood into a rain garden at the bottom of the ravine, which will further filter storm water before it reaches Bradford Beach and Lake Michigan. The rain garden will replace an old catch basin that currently collects storm water before sending it into a storm sewer running under Lincoln Memorial Drive and onto Bradford Beach.

Monitors that have been installed in the RSC will transmit in real time RSC performance results to a new exhibit being developed by the lighthouse, and displayed in the museum, that will educate visitors about storm water management of the ravine and permeable paver driveway.

“This project gives us and Milwaukee County the ability to meaningfully manage storm water from the lighthouse grounds and through the South Lighthouse Ravine,” Scripp noted. “It has also provided us a unique opportunity to connect the dots by teaching our visitors a profound environmental lesson about the impact of storm water runoff and how to effectively manage it.”

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