250px-Lighthouse_in_Puerto_Ferro_Vieques_Puerto_RicoOctag­o­nal cylin­dri­cal stone tow­er ris­ing from the cen­ter of 1-sto­ry stone keeper’s house. Active light on skele­tal tow­er next to the light­house. Lantern removed.  Endan­gered by decay and lack of main­te­nance, the light­house has fall­en into ruin and has been added to the Light­house Digest Dooms­day List. The light­house is in the for­mer U.S. mil­i­tary base area; the Navy with­drew from these bases, after years of pub­lic protests, on May 1, 2003. Locat­ed on the cen­tral south coast of Vieques inside the for­mer Camp Gar­cia Marine Base.

The Puer­to Fer­ro light­house entered ser­vice in Decem­ber 1899, some eigh­teen months after the end of the Span­ish-Amer­i­can War. It was designed by Fran­cis­co de Albacete and con­struct­ed over a plateau near the cen­ter of the island’s south coast, to facil­i­tate nav­i­ga­tion along south­east Puer­to Rico and into the local port, which export­ed sug­ar, cat­tle, and oth­er prod­ucts. This light­house is iden­ti­cal to the one at Pun­ta Mulas, locat­ed oppo­site on the north coast, except that the details and the base­board were paint­ed dark gray, and the lens was more pow­er­ful.

The build­ing mea­sures 53 feet long by 35 feet wide. The 28-foot tall octag­o­nal tow­er is at the cen­ter of the struc­ture, its fifth-order lens pro­ject­ed the light twelve miles away. The two Vieques lights are the only Puer­to Rican light­hous­es built orig­i­nal­ly with two doors, of which the rear is flanked by two cir­cu­lar open­ings (bull’s eyes) which ven­ti­lat­ed the bath­room and the kitchen. Over the entrance fac­ing the sea there is a base for a flag post, which does not fig­ure in the orig­i­nal plans. Since both light­hous­es were con­struct­ed on high ground, their tow­ers are short and their only open­ing to the out­side is the door lead­ing to the roof. Due to the pres­ence of sev­er­al cracks, funds were request­ed in 1920 to destroy the light­house and replace it with a new one, but the request was not grant­ed. The light­house con­tin­ued oper­at­ing until 1926, when an earth­quake caused addi­tion­al dam­age; the build­ing was then aban­doned and a light was installed on a met­al tow­er which col­lapsed years ago. Neglect and van­dal­ism have left the light­house in ruins. Some of the roof beams have fall­en and most of the remain­ing ones are in poor con­di­tion. The sur­round­ing land belongs to the Vieques Nation­al Wildlife Refuge.