T. Frank Murchison Memorial Tower
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The T. Frank Murchison Memorial Tower, designed by O'Neil Ford and constructed by C. L. Browning, Jr., rises 166 feet above the university campus. The tower serves as a point of orientation visible throughout much of the campus as well as the surrounding metropolis. In building the tower, Ford wanted to be loyal to traditional brick construction techniques, but to build a heavy masonry tower in the old way was not feasible. Utilizing traditional Trinity brick, the tower was built according to old Roman engineering principles. In building the tower the contractor first laid the brick perimeter walls, and then poured concrete between them. This bonding of brick and concrete actually makes the tower stronger than if the modern system of construction--pouring the concrete walls first and then facing them with brick--had been used.
Although the tower was completed in 1964, it was contemplated to function as a campanile for the Margarite B. Parker Chapel, which was dedicated in 1966. The area has remained essentially the same, and in 2002 it was externally illuminated in order to make it more visible after dark. The tower has been incorporated into the new University logo as a symbol of the University's educational and institutional presence in San Antonio.
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