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Main Building and Tower

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1931–1937, Paul P. Cret
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

Appropriately named, the Main Building and Tower commands a central location on campus on the site of Old Main, built in 1883 by F. E. Ruffini and demolished in 1934, and houses the university's administrative offices. The 305-foot-tall tower, referred to simply as “The Tower,” has twenty-eight floors and is one of the most recognizable symbols of the university. Following athletic victories, the tower is illuminated in burnt-orange light. It was from this tower on August 1, 1966, that architectural engineering major Charles Whitman shot and killed fourteen students and wounded more. The observation deck was closed intermittently in the decades following and new safety features allowed it to reopen to the public in 1999.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Main Building and Tower", [Austin, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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