AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Wednesday, the City of Austin announced it completed restoration work more than two years after a fire broke out at the Buford Tower in downtown Austin from an encampment at the base.
After the 2021 fire, the tower needed to be repaired to exact historical preservation standards, according to the city.
The Buford Tower is a six-story brick building, which was constructed in 1930. It’s even part of the National Register of Historic Places. Originally, it was a drill tower for the Austin Fire Department, and ultimately a memorial.
The tower was dedicated in 1978 and named for AFD veteran Capt. James L. Buford, who died about six years earlier trying to rescue a teen who ended up drowning in flood waters from Shoal Creek, according to AFD.
“People came out of the woodwork to say how much they really cared for this building. I didn’t even know people knew what it was. And so it was really heartening to us to have that support from the community,” said Kim McKnight with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Restoration crews took the opportunity to update some of the interior electrical and carillon chimes, so they will work even better for years to come, the city said.