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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Austin Fire Drill Tower
Reference Number 16000720
State TX
County Travis
Town Austin
Street Address 201 W. Cesar Chavez St.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 10/11/2016
Areas of Significance Architecture
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The Austin Fire Drill Tower (now known as Buford Tower) was constructed on the banks of the Colorado River in 1930 as a practice tower for the Austin Fire Department, and served its intended function for more than four decades. The tower was central in the training of fire fighters, and was prominently sited in the heart of downtown to allow public display of the trainees' skills and techniques. The Italianate Style building was designed by two of Austin's most prominent architects, Hugo F. Kuehne and J. Roy White. The tower was also a significant step in Austin's beautification plan, and is now an iconic landmark along a popular hike and bike trail. It is nominated to the National Register of Historic Places at the local level of significance under Criterion C in the area of Architecture. The period of significance is 1930, the year of its construction.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria