Tuesday, January 03, 2006
The One with an Austin Favorite Part 7
I haven't done an Austin favorite post in awhile, and in light of the fact that my Longhorns are playing tomorrow night for the National Championship, I thought I would give y'all a little info on the UT Tower. The tower was designed by Paul Cret of Philadelphia and construction was completed in 1937. It stands 307 ft or 27 stories tall and provides some lovely views of Austin from it's observation deck. Unfortunately the tower does have a bit of an infamous past. On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman went up to the observation deck and opened fire on those down below killing 13 and injuring many more. Many people mistakenly believe that this is why the deck was closed to visitors. However, the deck wasn't closed until 1974, and it was because of suicide jumpers. My sister has a story about a suicide jumper from when she attended UT, but it's a tad gruesome, so I won't share it. Today, a safety lattice has been added, and the observation deck of the tower was reopened for tours in the fall of 1999. There is a system to how the tower is lit at night. Normal days it is all white. For academic and staff achievements it is white on top with an orange shaft. For sports victories it is orange on top with a white shaft, except for special games such as Texas A&M or the Big 12 Championship, then it is all orange. For any National Championship victory, like the one we will have tomorrow, it is all orange with a #1 lit up in the windows.
There are also some other special occasions. When Ricky Williams won the Heisman it was all orange with a #24, and the other night when I went to the ballet it was all orange with an 05. I am assuming this was for the end of the year.
On a different note, I decided to count how many Texas shirts I have. I pulled them all out and layed them on my guest bed. The grand total was 22. This is actually alot less than I thought it would be. I also have hats, scrubs for work, and even shoes and a purse that are all Texas.
Don't forget to watch the Rose Bowl Jan. 4th at 7 p.m. CT on ABC. Texas and USC are both great teams, and it will be a really good game with Texas ultimately coming out on top. Hook 'em Horns!