VENICE BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A lifeguard tower painted to express inclusion at Venice Beach may have to be repainted back to its traditional color, unless the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors intervenes.
The tower, which is located at the end of Brooks Avenue, was painted in rainbow colors and dedicated as Venice Pride to mark LGBTQ pride month in June.
“I am proud of the pride that it represents,” said beachgoer Mary Ann Rege. “It symbolizes pride – the pride of the LGBTQ community.”
But the temporary permit to have the tower painted in rainbow colors is set to expire this week, meaning it will have to be repainted back to blue by Sept. 8.
“Blue is boring. There’s blue everywhere else. Keep it funky,” beach visitor Mira Ling said.
There is an online petition on Change.org to keep the tower as is.
Only county supervisors have the authority to keep the tower in rainbow colors because they were the ones who authorized the dedication in the first place.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said she plans to introduce a motion Tuesday to leave the tower as it.
“At a moment when human rights for many communities in this country are under threat, this dramatic artistic and political statement on Venice beach offers people in Los Angeles a clear statement of inclusion,” Kuehl said in a statement.
Grant Turck along with some politicians and volunteers used donated paint to give the tower the colorful look.
“It makes the beach feel like an inclusive place – a place where you could be who you want to be,” Turck said. “We hope that this tower will become a symbol of inclusion and acceptance. Our own Statue of Liberty if you will.”
He said it is the only rainbow-colored lifeguard tower in the world.
Critics said the unique looking tower draws people to pose for pictures in front of it, which could distract lifeguards from doing their job.
Several people were seen crossing the coned-off safety zone around the tower to pose for photos Monday.
But Ling said “if the lifeguard is well trained enough, then they should be able to tune out everything.”