Fresh coat of paint ahead of Pride Month
By Timothy Michael
The Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard tower gets a fresh coat of paint and a bit of a facelift just in time for Pride Month.
The tower, located North of the skate park at the end of Brooks Ave was built and then unveiled on June 1st, 2017 by Venice Pride, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and painted by Venice Pride board members.
The special event to kick off Pride Month in Venice was hosted by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Venice Pride Board President Grant Turck where they unveiled the “Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower” as well as a dedication of the “Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach” which was named in honor of the first openly gay man to be elected to the Los Angeles City Council.
Over the years the once bright and vibrant lifeguard tower began to fade due to weather and lack of upkeep.
Thanks to the efforts of Richard Martinez and his crew from Beaches and Harbors Los Angeles County the tower has been restored to its original glory just in time for this years Pride Month in June.
This comes just over a week after the Long Beach Lifeguard tower, painted the colors of the rainbow flag, burned to the ground.
The tower, on the beach bike path between 12th and 13th Places, was already “fully engulfed” in flames by the time firefighters arrived shortly around midnight on March 23rd.
That fire is still under investigation but many, including Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, have speculated an act of hate.
In a statement Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, who also identifies as gay, stated “The tower served as a symbol of our strong support for the diversity within our ranks and the LGBTQ community who call Long Beach home.” He added, “To whoever committed this act, just please know that, one, you are not welcome in our community,” he said. “And two, that we will rebuild the lifeguard station, brighter, gayer, and bigger than it was before.”
Plans are already in the works to get a new rainbow-colored lifeguard tower built.
It will be built by Industrial Design Research, Inc. and is expected to be delivered in about six weeks though it typically can take several months to produce one, according to a statement from the city.
According to a Facebook post Venice Pride has donated $500 to The LGBTQ Center Long Beach to support Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and the Long Beach Fire Department to rebuild the new tower.