Architecture & Design

Miami Beach Lifeguard Stands Are Selling for Less Than One Month's Rent

Miami Beach Lifeguard Stands Are Selling for Less Than One Month's Rent
Photo by Cris Ascunce / Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
Hot tip for what could be the coolest, most profitable Airbnb ever: Miami Beach is auctioning off five of its iconic, brightly colored lifeguard towers, and they're going for as little as $405 apiece.

That's right — for less than it costs to rent a studio apartment each month, you can turn South Beach's awesome star-spangled tower into a straight-up cash machine simply by calling it a "tiny house." It would basically be stupid not to.

Miami Beach has been slowly auctioning off older towers to make way for new prototypes designed by William Lane, the architect of the city's '90s-era lifeguard stands. In previous auctions, the towers have sold for as little as $100 and as much as $3,050.

Although the lifeguard towers have seemingly always been a part of Miami Beach's landscape, that wasn't always the case. It wasn't until Hurricane Andrew plowed through South Florida in 1992 and destroyed many of the city's older lifeguard stands that Lane was commissioned for the replacements. His colorful, futuristic designs ultimately became some of South Beach's most beloved fixtures.
click to enlarge These two lifeguard towers, plus three others, are being auctioned off by the City of Miami Beach. - CITY OF MIAMI BEACH VIA PUBLIC SURPLUS
These two lifeguard towers, plus three others, are being auctioned off by the City of Miami Beach.
City of Miami Beach via Public Surplus
The city's auction for the five older towers remains open for another week. Bidding will end Tuesday, August 28, at 3 p.m.


Despite being a spectacular deal, there is one small catch: Whoever wins the five stands is responsible for hauling them off the beach to wherever they're going.

The listings for the lifeguard towers can be found online under Miami Beach's section of publicsurplus.com. And if you're still stumped about what to do with your winning piece of history, New Times writer Jerry Iannelli offered some excellent suggestions back in 2016.
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Jessica Lipscomb is news editor of Miami New Times and an enthusiastic Florida Woman. Born and raised in Orlando, she has been a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
Contact: Jessica Lipscomb