Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Miami beach Lifeguard towers history
Lifeguard towers act as important landmarks and gathering points on beaches everywhere. People swim close by to be under the care of the lifeguards and use them as meeting places in the otherwise confusing beach plane of people and umbrellas. The lifeguard towers of Miami Beach have transcended the usual role of comfort and safety to become visual icons.
After Hurricane Andrew, Architect William Lane donated his design services to the city and added new stops on design tours in the form of lifeguard towers. His towers instantly became symbols of the revived City of Miami Beach. Today images of the towers are everywhere from real-estate advertisements to city documents and magazine articles. It is really great to have something so recognisable representing Miami. Companies that are associated with a certain image, such as http://www.partycasino.com/ or McDonalds inevitably do well. The same is said for a city. People are attracted to an image they both know and love.
In addition to the towers William Lane designed, two other towers are the result of artistic competitions.
Chris Blackwell, owner of the Tides hotel, commissioned the “Bed” tower on 10th. Ilija Moscrop created this tower shortly after renovating “The Tides” in collaboration with his father, Stuart.
The international architecture competition Bienal Miami + Beach 2001 had an international student competition to design a new lifeguard tower. The winning student from Florida International University designed the 15th Street tower
In addition to these towers designed by architects, there are two towers in South Beach that were designed by Hank Oppenborn of Ocean Rescue. These two towers are widely regarded by lifeguards as ideal towers in which to work. Lifeguards believe these towers would be perfect if the 8th street tower roof extended further over the deck (similar to the third street tower) and if the 3rd street tower railing were lower and more permeable, (similar to the 8th street tower).
8th street tower