in the Public Realm
Tower Life Building
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Tower Life Building

About this Tour Stop...

The Tower Life Building is a landmark and historic building in San Antonio, Texas. The building, which opened in 1929 was originally named the Smith-Young Tower and is the central component of a partially completed development called the Bowen Island Skyscrapers. The eight sided, neo-gothic brick and terra-cotta tower (complete with gargoyles) was designed by noted local architectural firm Ayers & Ayers. It was San Antonio's tallest building for 59 years until completion of the Marriott Rivercenter in 1988. The building was originally conceived as part of a larger complex called Bowen's Island Skyscrapers, which included the 1927 Plaza Hotel. However, this project was halted by the Great Depression. In 2010 work began to remove an obsolete 164-foot television antenna that was installed in 1953. The original crown will be restored and topped with a 100-foot flagpole.