Norwood Tower

Norwood Tower (HMH07)

Location: Austin, TX 78701 Travis County
Country: United States of America

N 30° 16.152', W 97° 44.596'

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Inscription
This building was once the tallest structure in Austin's downtown area other than the State Capitol. Dwarfed by other structures by the late 20th century, the Norwood Tower remains unique in its design and elaborate detailing.

In 1925, Ollie O. Norwood (1887-1961) bought this site and hired the firm of Giesecke and Harris to design an office building. Bertram E. Giesecke (1892-1950) was the son of F.E. Giesecke, an architect, engineer, and educator known for his experiments with reinforcing concrete. Bertram met August Watkins "Watt" Harris (1893-1968) in architecture school, and the men designed many buildings throughout Texas. The Gothic Revival tower, built of pre-cast concrete, features elaborate detailing, including a rose window, tracery, finials, gargoyles and a band of quatrefoils.

Norwood Tower opened in 1929, early tenants included Renfro Drugstore and numerous medical professionals, as well as long-standing area companies, such as Gracy Title Co., Elgin-Butler Brick and Brown & Root. Following two terms as Texas Governor, Dan Moody operated his law firm in the building. The top two floors of the 16-story edifice provided space for residential living. The private office of longtime maintenance engineer Clarence O. Williams provided downtown restroom access to many African Americans during Austin's years of segregation.

Throughout the building's history, various owners have maintained the landmark, renovated in the 1980s. The LBJ Holding Company purchased the property in 1997, and the architectural gem continues as an important link to Austin's early business history.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Details
HM NumberHMH07
Tags
Marker Number13620
Year Placed2006
Placed ByThe Texas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 12:55pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14R E 620885 N 3349283
Decimal Degrees30.26920000, -97.74326667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 16.152', W 97° 44.596'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 16' 9.12" N, 97° 44' 35.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)512
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 152-198 W 7th St, Austin TX 78701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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