Buford Tower, a six-story brick building that was constructed in 1930, has now been restored after fire damage in April 2021. Damaged brick, windows, and concrete plinth have now been repaired and replaced in accordance with historic preservation standards, according to a Monday statement on the city website. The surrounding landscaping has also been restored along with updates to the interior electrical components and carillon chimes.
Buford Tower was built 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.