On the horizon, 36 miles to the west, the partial skyline of Chicago is visible. The tallest structure is the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower).
Built in 1904, the lighthouse has become the most popular symbol of Michigan City, and is the only public operating lighthouse in Indiana. The elevated walkway, known as the "catwalk", was used by lighthouse keepers for 29 years to access the light tower. In 1933, this light on the east pier was electrified, and in 1939, the U.S. Coast Guard took over the service. The catwalk, no longer in use, was threatened with demolition. Local citizens rallied and succeeded in saving this landmark structure. The pier is a favorite spot for fishing and watching sunsets, and is frequently painted and photographed by local artists.