The moonlight towers in Austin are the only light towers in the world. The city originally had 31 of them, erected back in 1894. I had read that the erections of the lights were in response to the Servant Girl Annihilator, the brutal killings by a suspect who was thought to be the same guy as Jack the Ripper. However in other readings, these moonlight towers were actually erected 10 years after the murders. I’m not sure which is the true story to why the lights were stationed and when, but today, the lights are known as Texas State landmarks. And one of the towers over in Zilker Park is quite popular because it has been used in the film Dazed and Confused with Matthew McConaughey. I’ll have to look for this Zilker Park tower. I read somewhere it gets lit up during Christmas time, and being a big fan of holiday lighting, I look forward to the festive decor.
Of the 31 towers, 17 are still in use around the city. We encountered our first one last weekend in downtown on 9th and Guadalupe. Without knowing the history of these towers, one would pass them by like any other lighting system in the city. But having learned about them through my reading of Austin’s ‘spooky’ past, I found it interesting and was curious to see one in the flesh.