Block Island South East Light

Also known as: South East Light, Southeast Light
South East Light Rd., New Shoreham, Rhode Island


Block Island Southeast Light

1. General view of building front looking west from area near abandoned fog signal building.

Photo from the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress


Street View 


The Block Island Southeast Lighthouse is significant as a primary aid to the navigation of an otherwise dangerous area, once referred to as the "stumbling block" of the New England coast. It marks the first island landfall for ships approaching New England from the south or southeast. It was the second light to be built on the island and the first on the south side. At the time of its completion in 1875 it was considered to be one of the finest and best equipped lighthouses on the east coast, featuring a first order Fresnel lens, the best in lighting apparatus technology. The lighthouse is also significant for its interesting design, a melding of Gothic Revival and Italianate styles taking form in an octagonal tower. -- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER RI-27)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 25, 1997
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Gothic
Areas of significance
Architecture; Transportation; Maritime History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current functions
Water-related; Agricultural fields
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1874; 1929
Number of properties
Contributing structures: 4
Non-contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • January 10, 2018: New Street View added by Brian Bartlett