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Joe Cline has 297 Published Articles

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Irvine, Ayrshire,
Austin Texas Real Estate,
Carnegie House, 32 Springfield Gardens

Party at the Moontower!

Posted On : Mar-11-2009 | seen (1638) times | Article Word Count : 519 |

Picture a group of teenagers partying the night away on the last day of school at Lee High School in Texas. This is their last chance to drink and get drugged with their friends.
Picture a group of teenagers partying the night away on the last day of school at Lee High School in Texas. This is their last chance to drink and get drugged with their friends. So drink and get drugged they did! Party at the Moontower!

And that line earned the reputation even before the film got a cult following. The film was Dazed and Confused, by Austin director Richard Linklater, who made one of the Austin moonlight towers the setting for this 1993 movie.

From the 19th century to the 1990s and onwards, the Austin moonlight towers continued to brighten up the city’s night skies.

The moonlight tower made famous in the 1993 film was erected in the mid 1890s in Austin. Thirty one of these towers, each standing a hundred and sixty five feet tall and weighing around five thousand pounds, were manufactured, assembled, and erected by the Indiana-based Fort Wayne Electric Company after being commissioned by the city government of Austin. The towers solved the street lighting problems of Austin then, just as it did in other American cities at the turn of the last century.

These moonlight towers, so called because their lights glowed like moonlight artificial though it was, illuminate Austin until the present, at least more than ten of the original thirty one towers still do. With the others having been lost to accidents, new construction and development, seventeen of the towers that survived have been designated as historical and archeological treasures, the landmarks listed in the NRHP or the National Register of Historic Places.

The original moonlight towers light up through carbon arc lamps, emitting blue-white light that brightens an area with a diameter of around 3,000 feet. It was the perfect solution, albeit a not-so-popular one to some, to the city’s street-lighting requirements. The original towers’ lights needed to be lit up individually by the city’s keepers. In the 1920s the carbon arc lamps were replaced by incandescent bulbs and switches at the towers’ bases made lighting them up easier and quicker. During the second world war when security demanded massive city blackouts, a central switching system was devised to enable simultaneously switching off the towers’ lights. The incandescent bulbs were later replaced with mercury vapor bulbs and automated switches even.

The advent of smaller, more easily maintained street lamps would have made the moonlight towers extinct earlier had it not been for the historical and archeological impact. The National Register of Historic Places came to the rescue of the dwindling numbers of the moonlight towers.

After being listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the city of Austin passed ordinances in order to protect the remaining towers. As much as possible, demolition of the towers was prohibited, although dismantling has been done on at least two of them to give way to construction development like the Austin Convention Center. Since then, the city, from 1993 onwards, embarked on a $1.3 Million restoration project for the remaining towers. With the restoration, the moonlight towers live on.

Article Source : at the Moontower!_138.aspx

Author Resource :
Joe Cline writes articles for Lakeway Realtors. Other articles written by the author related to Homes in Round Rock and Austin Real Estate real estate for sale can be found on the net.

Keywords : Austin Real Estate real estate for sale, Lakeway Realtors, Homes in Round Rock,

Category : Reference and Education : Reference and Education

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