Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tower of Americas Recognized for Lasting Architectural Importance

From San Antonio Express News:

"In honoring a project of lasting architectural importance, AIA members chose the Tower of the Americas. Last year, the tower also received the 25-year Award from the Texas Society of Architects, which honors a project between 25 and 50 years old that has retained its central form, character and architectural integrity.

Plans for the tower started in 1959 when San Antonio was chosen to host the 1968 World's Fair. The executive committee for the fair considered several ideas for a signature structure — among them a grand statue of President Lyndon Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz hugging — but decided on a monumental tower.

The observation deck is at 622 feet, and an antenna brings the height to 750 feet, which made it the tallest observation tower in the U.S. until the Las Vegas Stratosphere surpassed it in 1996.

It was designed by O'Neil Ford & Associates. Several members of the original Tower of the Americas team were at the awards banquet, including architects Jack Peterson and Boone Powell; Ray Pinnell, the design engineer for the tower; and engineer Dick Kistner."

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