Venice Lifeguard Station, 2300 Ocean Front Walk

Venice Historic Tour TEST

Venice Lifeguard Station, 2300 Ocean Front Walk

Los Angeles, California 90291, United States

Created By: preserving public places


Excerpts from the Historic Cultural Monument nomination 2024:

Venice Lifeguard Station is a ... unique and exuberant expression of..." three-story "hexagonal" institutional building located on the sand of Venice Beach southwest of S. Ocean Front Walk in Venice. Constructed in 1968, it was designed in the Mid-Century Modern architectural style by the Los Angeles-based architectural firm of Prescott, Whalley, and Weit for the City of Los Angeles.

From its date of construction through 1975, the Venice Lifeguard Station served as the headquarters for the Los Angeles City Lifeguard Service. When the City and County consolidated services in 1975, the building became the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Headquarters until 2016. Originally, there was also landscaping designed by the landscape architecture firm Cornell, Bridgers, and Troller.

When Abbot Kinney opened Venice of America in 1905, tourists flocked to the newly constructed pier, amusement park, and beach seeking leisure and entertainment. Swimming became a popular recreation activity, both in the waters of the Santa Monica Bay and in the bathhouse – the Venice Hot Salt Water Plunge – at the edge of the surf just north of the Venice Pier. However, the public had limited water skills and education, which led to frequent drownings. After some negative press about drownings and a concern about increased liability, Abbot Kinney partnered with former sea captain Percy Grant to form the Venice Volunteer Life-Saving Corps.

Since consolidation in 1975, Los Angeles County manages 72 miles of coastline, 32 miles of beach, plus Catalina Island.

Lifeguading has shaped and been shaped by popular culture in Southern California throughout the twentieth century. For decades, lifeguards have been an embodiment of beach culture's athleticism, recreation, and beauty standards.

The service headquartered in Venice significantly improved the public's fafety and engagement at Venice, other Los Angeles County beaches, and shaped lifeguarding practices acros the U.S. and nation.

The history of lifeguarding is closely intertwined with that of surfing.

In 1989, the show Baywatch sent Los Angeles County Lifeguards global....(its) popularity helped raise the popular, political profile of lifeguard services..the rigor, discipline and high stakes of their job.

Lifeguarding at the Venice Station can also be connected to the environmental movement that took hold in the 1960s and 1970s... Venice lifeguard Rimmon Fay, who was also a marine biologist and professional diver, was a leader in this arena. Fay was a founding member of the Californial Coastal Commission (founded in 1972), Heal the Bay, and Friends of the Ballona Wetlands. Known as an outspoken advocate, he helped draft the California Coastal Plan and called for an end to L.A. and corporations' policies of dumping toxic sewage in the ocean.

The hexagonal pyramidal roof recalls the iconic Venice pagodas that were constructed along Ocean front Walk in the 1940s as part of the Works Progress Administration.

Saving the Venice Lifeguard Station from partial demolition and designating it Historic was spearheaded by Venice community members, including over 1500 supporters. The LA Conservancy then joined in drafting the HCM nomination. Tremendous thanks to the LA Office of Historic Resources and the Commissioners of the LA Department of Recreation and Parks.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Venice Historic Tour TEST


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to