Built in 1874 with lumber from California redwoods and a Fresnel Lens brought around Cape Horn by sailing ships. For its time, this Victorian lighthouse was a palatial structure, crowned with a cupola fitted with a 2,100-candlepower light. Miss Mary L. Smith, the first, lighthouse keeper, lived with her sister, but they gave up the lonely occupation because there were no other settlers nearer than Wilmington. In the 1880's, when Captain George Shaw was keeper, the lighthouse was the scene of many parties.
In 1898, a petroleum vapor incandescent lamp was installed; then, in 1925, a new 6,600 candlepower electric light which projected a beam 22 miles out to sea. Because it did not have a fog-signalling apparatus, it was a one-keeper station until 1941 when all coastal lights were extinguished as protection against enemy attacks. The lens lantern and gallery were replaced by an ugly lookout shack which remained for the next thirty years.
After the war, the light remained off, and radar and direction finders took over sentry and signaling duties. The structure fell into disuse and disrepair until a new lantern and gallery were built by volunteers, restoring it to its original charm just in time for a centennial celebration in 1974. Today, Point Fermin Lighthouse is one of San Pedro's most recognized landmarks and was used for the San Pedro Centennial logo.
This graceful Victorian-style building surrounded by colorful flower gardens, is one to the oldest lighthouses on the west coast. It was built in 1874 and served as an aid to safe passage between the Channel Islands and into the harbor for nearly one hundred years. The land for the lighthouse was donated by Jose Diego Sepulveda.
The Lighthouse is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The Lighthouse is closed to the public on Mondays. The Lighthouse may be closed on major holidays and for special events in the park, please call ahead for specific dates. Guided tours are offered every hour at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday through Sunday. Large groups or private tours should call ahead for special arrangements. Reservations are not necessary for the general public.
General admission is free; however, a donation is requested for each visitor. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and children less than 40 inches in height may not be admitted to the tower. http://www.sanpedro.com/sp_point/ptfmlths.htm
Located near the Korean Friendship Bell is a panama mount in Angel Gate Park which was part of Fort MacArthur (Upper Reservation). What is a panama mount? Originally developed by the US Army in Panama during the 1920', it consist of a round concrete base that a Canon de 155mm GPF sat on. This one includes a geared steel ring just inside of the outer steel rail for improved traverse.
This 1932 Mediterranean-style structure was the last of the bathhouses built in Southern California, and was at the end of the "Red Car" (streetcar) line running from Los Angeles to San Pedro and out to Point Fermin. In the days before everyone had automobiles, people from the inner city would travel to the beach in this manner, and patronize the Bathhouse, where they could pick up a swimsuit and a towel for a ten cent rental fee and enjoy a day at the seashore. The 26,000 square foot building incorporated shower rooms, life guard facilities, snack bars for the beach-goers, and a community meeting room upstairs.
In the years since, various civic groups have worked to get the bathhouse restored. With support from city agencies and other entities, the facility has been returned to its former glory (including 1930's era colors, freshly polished floors, and new light fixtures), and improved to meet current building standards, including Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, installation of an elevator and automatic restroom doors, fire safety, and other structural improvements.
The Dedication Ceremony on October 2, 2002, coincided with the 70th anniversary of the bathhouse, which originally opened in 1932 and with the Cabrillo Beach Boathouse, which was used for boating events during the 1932 Summer Olympic Games, hosted by Los Angeles.http://www.sanpedro.com/sp_point/cbrobath.htm
This historic lighthouse has marked the entrance to the port since 1913. The breakwater is 9,250 feet long and contains nearly three million tons of rock, brought over from Santa Catalina Island. Designed differently than any other California lighthouse, Angel's Gate is situated on a forty-foot concrete square. Built to withstand rough seas, the framework is structural steel, with steel plates to the second floor. The lighthouse is so well-constructed that, after a five-day storm in 1939 sent violent seas smashing into the building, the 73-foot Romanesque tower leaned slightly toward shore, but still stood defiantly, as it does to this day. The lighthouse was automated in 1973, thus eliminating the need for keepers.
The two note blast of its foghorn every thirty seconds is a familiar sound to local residents. Mariners entering Angel's Gate are guided by the lighthouse's rotating green light. Whenever a deep sea vessel arrives on her maiden voyage in Los Angeles Harbor, the master is presented with a plaque etched with the likeness of the light, an official greeting from the City of Los Angeles, and the lighthouse that watches over the entrance to her harbor.http://www.sanpedro.com/sp_point/aglight.htm
Angel Gate Lighte Article ~ Channel Crossings
Los Angeles Maritime Museum ● Berth 84 Foot of 6th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
If you're thinking of something nice to do with kids from 4 to 9 years old, this may be a nice aquarium to visit, beside a beach where you can walk around (maybe not swim- rocky shore). The place itself not as big as other aquariums but administrators have made it very entertaining and educational with regards to aquatic life in this Pacific coast. It has an exhibit hall with a tidepool touch tank, kelp forests, sandy beaches and mudflats, open ocean and Channel Islands exhibit areas. Best of all, it is free but you are free to give donations and I think they recommend at least $5 for adults.
3720 Stephen M. White Drive
San Pedro, CA 90731
+1 310 548 7562
Noon-5p Tu-F, 10a-5p Sa-Su
Beacon Street Festival is a summer block party thrown in front of the Beacon House recovery house for men who have become addict to alcohol and/or other drugs. (OK, you're thinking, why attend a street party here perhaps?) Well, come here if you like an intimate and an alternative festival experience compared to the typical carnival variety that go on in the summer. It is indeed a small affair for a quick bite to eat (hot dogs and the like), shopping for candles,clothing , local artwork, jewelry, artistic pieces and various knick-knacks. HOWEVER, the most intriguing thing here is the people-watching. There are quite colorful people here who may seemingly seem "opposing" physically but are warm and easy going.
REMEMBER- NO alcohol served here! I mean, there's a halfway house here!
I do have to caution. Though I saw many kids around, it may be best to leave the kids home or at least, to take them down the hill at Ports O Call for entertainment. This is an event more suitable for adults (youthful adults, singles, couples, those who like "alternative lifestyles). Talk and dancing gets pretty provocative here, though, nothing too, too naughty!
2005 Beacon St Festival Aug 13-14, 2005. Check website for future dates. The event has free admission and parking is fairly easily and available in the neighborhood or by city hall near 6th and Beacon.
My visit to the festival : Saturday, Aug 13, 2005
Read more on Beacon House in my Local Custom Tip.
For the nautical fan or even the casual tourist, the Tall Ships festival is a wonderful, historical experience. On a grand scale, tall wooden ships enter Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro and greet thousands of on-lookers.
In 2005, the festival has proven to be the biggest one yet. For an escape, I happened upon the festival, which features walking tours on the ships, as well as info booths on the history of ship vessels and other things nautical, food, merchant booths, and entertainment, such as ship flag painting for kids
Ports O Call is the Fisherman's Wharf of Los Angeles. This is a major tourist draw, yet, still manages to not lose its charm. Go for a boat ride, eat seafood and good ol' comfort food, take the kids for carnival diversion, shop seaside stores and take a nice stroll along the strip.
When I first came to California, it was not long until I heard about San Pedro as being a great place to eat seafood. SP is the perfect place to go being along the sea and all. Families make the trip out here to eat fish and just to be together. Here is one place that they go- by the wharf.
San Pedro has its own downtown red rail cable cars (homage to San Francisco) running throughout the day. These are classic tourists getters and , well, even impress a local sucker like me!