South Mission Beach Lifeguard Tower

In 1978, the city constructed a temporary wooden lifeguard tower at South Mission Beach. The replacement tower had been in the works for over 15 years and was completed in 2019. In addition to the 30’ observation tower, the new facility was designed to ensure public safety and quick response times from lifeguards to those in need. The narrow building design minimize view blockage to the ocean from the boardwalk and existing homes, but efficiently houses everything the lifeguards need to serve the public from first aid, to communication of dangerous rip currents and ocean dangers. Public art was incorporated into the design with cast in place “beach cottages” to cap the erosion control barrier which extends down 40’, mimicking the houses that line the boardwalk. The building is constructed out of cast-in-place concrete with a copper fascia in order to withstand the harsh ocean environment and blends in with the beach sand in order to minimize the public’s visual impact for a necessary structure that ideally would not be there.

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