Buford Tower is a six-story brick building that was constructed in 1930 as the Austin Fire Drill Tower and served as a training facility for Austin firefighters until the 1970s. The building was designed by architects Hugo F. Kuehne, Sr. and J. Roy White and constructed by Rex D. Kitchens. In 1978, the tower was restored by the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction and was dedicated to Austin Fire Department Captain James Buford, who was the first Austin firefighter to die in the line of duty. The building also houses the Kitchen Memorial Chimes. The structure has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2016 and is part of the City of Austin’s parkland system and maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD). The Austin Firefighters Association holds its annual 9/11 memorial at the site.
The Buford Tower incurred fire damage in April 2021 and will be undergoing repairs. Damaged brick, windows, and concrete plinth will be repaired and replaced in accordance with historic preservation standards. The surrounding landscaping will also be restored along with updates to the interior electrical components and carillon chimes.
Please note that as in any construction project, schedules are projected as accurately as possible. All dates are subject to change due to the nature of construction and the weather.
- Spring 2022: Permitting and Bidding Phase (Complete)
- Summer 2022: Construction begins (Ongoing)
- Winter 2022: Construction ends
For more information or questions, contact Alyssa Tharrett, Project Manager, by email or phone at (512) 974-9508.