When Was OB’s Lifeguard Station Built?

by on December 30, 2013 · 3 comments

in Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB Warm Lifeguard statinThere’s confusion in the ranks of both San Diego City planners and OB historians.  No one can figure out or remember when the current main lifeguard station in Ocean Beach was built.

In the new OB Community Plan Update, a date of “1983” was given to the lifeguard station (which, by the way, needs to be replaced).  But OB history buffs knew that was an incorrect date.

Somebody dragged up the date of “1944”, but no, that’s not right either.

The OB Rag has photographic evidence that the lifeguard tower was replaced sometime since the early 1970s – we have a black and white of the old, former building taken in 1972.

So, do you know? If so, share your info and/or documentation with the rest of us.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Byron Wear December 31, 2013 at 4:04 pm

The OB Lifeguard Station was built around 1980-81. Due to a 1977 drowning at Mission Beach and problems with view obstructions in the old tower there, three new lifeguard stations were funded by the City Council – Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and La Jolla Shores. The old OB lifeguard station was built around 1938 as a Lifeguard and Police Station and included a jail cell that was later used a shower. In 1978 there was serious discussion about relocating the Ocean Beach main lifeguard station further north but coastal views of adjacent residential homes at Cape May Avenue would be seriously affected and the Santa Monica Street location was maintained.
I had the chance to serve as a lifeguard at OB from 1975 until my promotion to Lifeguard Lieutenant in 1977. Ocean Beach provides a diverse experience for lifeguards with rescue activity around the Pier, the Mission Bay Channel, the jetties and response to Sunset Cliffs and the end of Point Loma.


Frank Gormlie January 2, 2014 at 9:07 am

Byron Wear – thanks for your input as to when OB’s current lifeguard station was built. 1980-81 seems reasonable and you seem to be very confident in your date.


Larry OB January 7, 2014 at 8:27 pm

You can see the change from 1980 to 1981 on Historic Aerials



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