The UT Tower is an iconic landmark and the centerpiece of the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) campus. It is a 307-foot-tall tower that was completed in 1937 and is located at the heart of the UT Austin campus in Austin, Texas. The tower has become a symbol of the university and the city itself, and it is a popular tourist attraction that draws visitors from all over the world.
The tower was designed by architect Paul Cret, who was also responsible for designing many other notable buildings across the United States. The tower’s design is a blend of Gothic and Art Deco styles, with a strong emphasis on symmetry and clean lines. The tower is made of limestone and is adorned with many intricate details and carvings, which add to its beauty and grandeur. Learn more
The UT Tower was originally built to house the university’s library and administrative offices, and it was the tallest building in Austin at the time of its completion. Over the years, the tower has played an important role in the history of UT Austin and the city of Austin itself. It had witnessed significant events, including the university’s integration in 1956 and the tragic shooting on August 1, 1966, when a student opened fire from the tower, killing 14 people and injuring many others.
Today, the UT Tower serves as a symbol of the university’s academic excellence and its commitment to advancing knowledge and research. It also serves as a popular tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors coming to see the tower each year. Visitors can take guided tours of the tower, which provide an opportunity to learn about its history, architecture, and significance to the university and the city of Austin.
One of the most notable features of the UT Tower is the observation deck, which is located on the 27th floor of the tower. The observation deck offers breathtaking views of the city of Austin and the surrounding area, and it is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The observation deck is accessible by elevator and stairs, and visitors can spend as much time as they like taking in the stunning views from this vantage point.
Another feature of the UT Tower is the carillon, which is located in the tower’s bell chamber. The carillon is a musical instrument consisting of a set of bells that are played by striking them with hammers controlled by a keyboard. The carillon in the UT Tower is one of the largest and most renowned in the world, with 56 bells weighing a total of 25 tons. The carillon is played regularly by university carillonneurs, who perform concerts for visitors and students.
In addition to serving as a popular tourist attraction, the UT Tower also plays an important role in the university’s academic and research mission. It is home to several research centers and academic departments, including the Tower Center for Political Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Department of Computer Science.
The UT Tower has also undergone significant renovations and upgrades over the years to ensure its longevity and continued usefulness. In 2016, the university completed a $2 million renovation of the observation deck, which included the installation of new safety features and improved accessibility for visitors with disabilities. The university has also invested in the tower’s infrastructure, including its elevators, electrical systems, and mechanical systems, to ensure that it remains a safe and reliable facility for years to come.
In conclusion, the UT Tower is an iconic landmark and an important symbol of the University of Texas at Austin and the city of Austin itself. It is a testament to the university’s academic excellence and its commitment to advancing knowledge and research. The tower’s beauty, history, and significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Austin, Texas.
What Can You Expect When You Visit There?
If you are planning to visit the UT Tower in Austin, Texas, there are several things you can expect to experience during your visit. Here are some of the things you can expect to see and do when you visit the UT Tower:
- Guided tour: When you arrive at the UT Tower, you can join a guided tour of the tower. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will provide you with information about the tower’s history, architecture, and significance to the university and the city of Austin. The tour will take you through various parts of the tower, including the observation deck, the bell chamber, and the library.
- Observation deck: One of the highlights of visiting the UT Tower is the observation deck, which is located on the 27th floor of the tower. From the observation deck, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city of Austin and the surrounding area. The observation deck is accessible by elevator or stairs and is open to the public during certain hours. Website
- Carillon: The UT Tower is home to one of the largest and most renowned carillons in the world. If you visit the tower at certain times, you may be able to hear the carillon being played by university carillonneurs. You can also learn about the carillon’s history and construction during your visit.
- History and exhibits: The UT Tower has played an important role in the history of the university and the city of Austin. During your visit, you can learn about the tower’s role in significant events, such as the university’s integration in 1956 and the tragic shooting in 1966. You can also see exhibits that showcase the tower’s history and significance.
Important Information You Need to Know
- Address: 110 Inner Campus Drive, Austin, TX 78705, United States
- Website: http://tower.utexas.edu/
- Contact: +15124756633
- Open Hours: Monday-Friday (7 am-1 am), Saturday (10 am-1 am), Sunday (12 pm-1 am)