Moonlight Towers

October 21 2015 — by dave.morris
Earlier this year, I went on a road trip vacation through some of the southern United States. It's probably not for everyone, but one thing I was particularly keen on visiting was one of the antique streetlights - known locally as 'moonlight towers' - that are still dotted through Austin, Texas. If you've not heard of them before, I highly recommend following their story a little. These things are more than a hundred years old, they tower over the streets at more than fifteen storeys in height, and their history includes arc lamps, night time formal social gatherings, a film by Richard Linklater, and even something called the 'Servant Girl Annihilator'.

I first heard about them on this episode of the excellent 99% Invisible podcast some time ago, and knew I'd have to go and take a look whilst I was in Austin for the first time. Since seeing them for myself, I've also discovered the beautiful photo series of the towers by Andy Mattern. I didn't get a shot of one at night myself, sadly, but it was still neat to see something so enormous and old, yet so efficiently engineered and toweringly graceful as to look slightly futuristic even today.