The ‘Best-Known’ Tech Landmark

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In honor of Tech’s 125th birthday year, we’re partnering with Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine to highlight a piece of Tech history. This issue’s topic: that famous edifice we call “Tech Tower.”

The following excerpt is number 9 on the list “125 Pieces of Tech History,” featured in the September/October 2010 issue of Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine:

With its gable roof, steeple and lighted sign, Tech Tower, erected in 1888, is one of the best-known campus landmarks.

Originally, the tower was a feature of the old Main Building, and a twin spire was built on the adjacent Shop Building. The shop burned in 1892, however, leaving only the main tower standing.

The class of 1922 put up the first TECH sign as a symbol that would “light the spirit of Tech to the four points of the compass.” The wooden letters were painted white and gold and were illuminated by lights trained on them from the ground.

During the 1930s, lightbulbs were mounted inside the letters for better illumination. By 1949, neon lights shaped inside the metal frames were added to the TECH sign.



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