LAGUNA’S HIDDEN HISTORIES: Main Beach Tower


LAGUNA’S HIDDEN HISTORIES: Main Beach Tower


LAGUNA’S HIDDEN HISTORIES: Do you know how the Main Beach Lifeguard Tower crossed PCH to its permanent home on Main Beach in 1937?

The Lifeguard Tower at Main Beach may be the most photographed public building in Laguna Beach. Both quaint and functional, the hexagon-shaped structure is one of this community’s treasures, residents say. It’s a landmark and has been the subject of many postcards and many paintings.

The landmark was once part of a gas station at Broadway and Coast Highway. In the 1920s, horse power was used to move the structure to the beach. Until the new lifeguard center was built at the north end of Main Beach in 1985, the 400-square-foot tower was the headquarters for all lifeguard activity.

Meetings were held on the sand on the beach in front of the tower. Radios and files were there, everything was jammed into that little building. It was used 365 days a year. Cold. No showers. Pretty primitive.

The building was remodeled in the 1970s and is now headquarters for the city’s rookie and junior lifeguard programs. The top floor is an observation room, the ground floor holds first-aid and rescue equipment, and a basement dug into the sand provides storage space for surfboards.

Retreat to Laguna Beach and be photographed with this historic landmark!