PVIC-Phase II

We are remodeling

The Point Vicente Interpretive Center is currently preparing for two new exhibits. One of the new exhibits will feature information on shore whaling, which took place in Portuguese Bend in the 1860’s. The second exhibit will highlight the historic 3rd order Fresnel lens from the Point Vicente Lighthouse. The lens is being replaced with an LED and the City of RPV has an amazing opportunity to feature the Fresnel lens at PVIC.

Due to the nature of the work a portion of the museum will be closed and no public access will be permitted in certain areas.

PVIC update

The lobby exhibits, banquetroom, gift shop and park grounds will remain open to the public.

We anticipate openingthe new exhibits in January 2019.

New Exhibits at PVIC

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes was awarded a grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment Museum Grant Program to design, construct and install two permanent exhibits at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. The two exhibits will focus on the regional shore whalers and the Point Vicente Lighthouse lens.

These two exhibits are part of a larger concept “Phase II” to incorporate new exhibitions that explore the human and natural history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Future exhibits may be incorporated when additional grants and funding becomes available.

New Exhibits

Point Vicente Lighthouse Fresnel lens

The 3rd order Fresnel lens was installed at the historic Point Vicente Lighthouse on May 1, 1926. The lens is a two million candlepower white light that was developed from a fifteen-watt bulb focused through the handcrafted five-foot lens. It can be seen over twenty miles away, making it the brightest beacon in Southern California. It was dimmed during WWII to avoid aiding the enemy. Built in 1886, the lens is made up of hand-ground prisms held in place by a cast brass frame.


Fresnel lens

The Shore Whalers

In the 1860’s the market for whale oil- as fuel, for cosmetics and other products was vigorous and the men laboring on farms and ranches saw opportunity in the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale. Portuguese whalers were drawn to the proximity of so much blubber- seasonal practice of shore whaling took hold.