Maritime Museum unveils Point Conception lighthouse lens

160-year-old lens becomes centerpiece of Santa Barbara museum

POSTED: 03:00 PM PDT Jul 26, 2013    UPDATED: 10:15 PM PDT Jul 26, 2013 
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum working to restore history
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

The 160-year-old Point Conception lighthouse lens is on display for the public to see for the first time in history.

After five weeks of tear down, travel, cleaning and reassembly, the 18-foot, 6,000-pound lens is in its new home at Santa Barbara's Maritime Museum. 

"The colors, the light re-fracturing, the prisms, the rainbow effect. It's just amazing to see it close up," museum executive director Greg Gorga said.

The lens helped guide travelers around Point Conception since 1856, making passage for thousands of vessels possible before being decommissioned in 1999.

The exhibit is still under construction but the lens is visible for all to see. Completion of the nearly $500,000 project is scheduled for Sept. 21. To learn more about the Maritime Museum visit www.sbmm.org.