La Jolla Shores lifeguard tower undergoes ‘routine’ work to exterior


Just as the busy summer season got into full swing the first week of June in La Jolla Shores, some residents were panicked to see the lifeguard tower fronting Kellogg Park under renovation — a few of whom called La Jolla Light with their concerns.

However, the work is considered “routine wood maintenance on the exterior” that should be completed any day now, said City spokesperson Mónica Muñoz.

San Diego Lifeguard Marine Safety Lt. Rich Stropky elaborated: “The wood on the stairs and around the tower itself is a Brazilian hardwood and needs to be polished once in a while. I’ve been pushing for it to be done for two years and they are finally getting to it. It can look weathered and gray and be perfectly safe, but we want to keep the luster of that wood.”

He added paper was put over the window to keep it from getting dirty in the process.

However, seeing material over the glass raised a few local eyebrows. In 2013, soon after the lifeguard tower was constructed, the windows had to be replaced because during certain times of day and certain months, the angle of the glass and the type of glass used on the structure led to “ghost images” of people appearing to be on one side of the beach when they were actually at another, and glare inhibited the guards’ ability to see. The windows were soon replaced, and the City has received no reports of issues with distortion since.

The $3.8 million tower is known as the “brontosaurus head” given its cantilevered shape, and was originally applauded for its modern aesthetic and engineering.