Thousands of beachgoers flock to Miami’s beaches every week. To watch over them, colorful lifeguard towers have been built stretching from South Pointe to 85th street. This stretch of beach is 8.5 miles long. The southern end of the beach where you can see most of the tower. Miami’s lifeguard towers are works of art. Their architecture is unique, they are interestingly decorated and truly represent Miami culture. These towers have been added over time and continue being built. Most of the towers have been rebuilt after being destroyed in 1992 by Hurricane Andrew.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew swept through Florida causing widespread damage and destruction. The lifeguard towers present at that time, made of wood, were flattened. During the reconstruction, architect William Lane offered to make new designs. These new architectural designs are much more interesting and were made to withstand future hurricanes. They feature impact windows and aluminum hardware. Currently, there are 35 lifeguard towers.
The most notable of these lifeguard towers are those located at:
- South pointe jetty
This is the southernmost tower. It is shaped like a lighthouse. It has a good view of the open sea and you will sight ships in the far distance cruising past.
- 3rd street
This tower is brightly painted with yellow and red stripes. It is popular with yoga lovers who can be seen there twice daily, at sunrise and sunset.
- 10th street
This pink and orange tower is tastefully curved with a design mimicking a Hindu temple.
- 13th street
This tower is not as tastefully decorated as the rest. It is more practical, with a box-like structure designed to withstand a hurricane better. The towers on 13th and 14th street were rebuilt from the old ones.
- 63rd street
This tower looks a bit isolated but has a great view of the ocean. The occasional meditator can be sighted on this tower.
- 69th street
This stretch of the beach is really long and is a huge favorite with swimmers and other people on the beach. The lifeguard towers become focal points with people milling around taking pictures and having snacks.
- 83rd street
This tower is likely to be missed as it is tucked behind the sand rope. It is tastefully colored in bright purple.
The interesting thing is that many of these towers are manned by volunteers. They are also maintained by fundraising efforts. These lifeguard towers have saved thousands of lives over the years by sighting drowning swimmers or approaching sharks. They are practical as well as decorative.