“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Norwood Tower

Norwood Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, September 30, 2007
1. Norwood Tower Marker
Inscription. This building was once the tallest structure in Austinís 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 Austinís
Norwood Tower image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, September 30, 2007
2. Norwood Tower
years of segregation.

Throughout the buildingís 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 Austinís early business history.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Erected 2006 by the Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13620.)
Location. 30° 16.152′ N, 97° 44.596′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 114 W 7th St, Austin TX 78701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. O. Henry Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Openheimer-Montgomery Building (about 300 feet away); Paramount Theatre (about 400 feet away); Offices Of The War Department And The Adjutant General (about 400 feet away); Stephen F. Austin Hotel (about 400 feet away); Original Site of First Presbyterian Church (about 500 feet away); Scarbrough Building (about 500 feet away); Littlefield Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Also see . . .  Norwood Tower. (Submitted on December 19, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas.)
Categories. Notable Buildings
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 929 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 19, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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