Council passes moonlight tower funding

AUSTIN -- In a bid to preserve Austin's history, the Austin City Council passed an agenda to provide funding to preserve the moonlight towers on Thursday.

RELATED: I wonder: Moonlight towers

The City Council voted to spend $2 million to repair and maintain the moonlight towers in Austin.

The 165-foot-tall towers are owned and maintained by Austin Energy.

The moonlight towers were last restored between 1993 and 1995, according to the City Council's agenda. The agenda also states, since then, they are repaired on an as-needed basis.

In cooperation with Austin Energy, the City Council will use the money to provide repairs, restoration and maintenance of the moonlight towers. The restoration will take three years under Austin Energy's helm.

The towers will be painted and undergo inspection to ensure safety and preservation for public enjoyment, the agenda states.

Austin purchased 31 used towers from Detroit in 1895 to serve as street lighting for the city at night after a series of unsolved murders. The towers used electricity from Austin's first power plan on the Colorado River, according to the City of Austin.

In 1970, the towers became Texas State Landmarks, and in 1976, the towers were added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Today, 17 towers are left.

Austin is the only city in the world that still has moonlight towers.

Here is a list of the towers and locations:

  1. Eastside and Leland
  2. South First and West Monroe
  3. West 4th and Nueces
  4. West 9th and Guadalupe
  5. 12th and Blanco
  6. West 12th and Rio Grande
  7. West 15th and San Antonio
  8. 22nd and Nueces
  9. West 41st and Speedway
  10. Zilker Park
  11. MLK and Chicon
  12. 13th and Colorado
  13. Leona and Pennsylvania
  14. East 11th and Trinity
  15. East 11th and Lydia
  16. 3rd and Red River
  17. Canterbury and Lynn


View Austin's Moonlight Towers in a larger map

Tower 3 and 16 are in storage waiting for repairs. Their restoration and replacement will be part of the contract.

Tower number 10, the Zilker Park moonlight tower, is also used as the holiday tree for the Trial of Lights. Tickets went on sale Thursday.

Check out moonlight tower item on the City Council's agenda below:

Agenda number 39


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