The lighthouse stands at a point on the Lake Michigan shoreline where the sloping coast of the North Shore suburbs forms an angle with the straighter coast of Evanston and Chicago.
The promontory's name (originally "Grosse Pointe") came from French explorers of the 17th century who opened trade routes with the native populations.
The light was electrified in 1923 and automated in 1935, but in 1941 it was replaced by lighted buoys seven miles offshore. In 1946 it was relit as a private navigation aid, and continues operation to the present day.
This is the fourth-tallest lighthouse on the Great Lakes.
The structure is a double shell of brick with an iron spiral staircase inside. The original structural brick facade was later covered with concrete.
It was a named a National Historic Landmark in 1999.
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