Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first lighthouse commissioned by the First Congress of the United States of America. American-born architect John McComb, Jr., was offered the contract. Constructed of hammered-dressed Rappahannock sandstone ashlar, the tower is seventy-two feet high with a spread foundation of twenty feet deep. Aquia stone was used on foundations, windows, and door surrounds. The octagon-shaped lighthouse, completed in October of 1791, took nineteen months to construct.