June 30, 2014
In the 1960s, the Mueller airport control tower was once a symbol of the city entering a modern age. Located off Berkman Drive, the 89-foot tower still stands today with its iconic, blue porcelain paneling.
The familiar control tower that we all know was not the first to be built on the Mueller airport site. Built in 1942 and nicknamed after its small 8-foot by 10-foot shack, the “dog-house” control tower stood on timber logs. In 1943, a replacement tower was built and stood on utility poles that were 50 feet tall.
It wasn’t until the spring of 1961 when the third, final and tallest control tower, along with a new terminal, was completed by the local architectural firm of Fehr and Granger at a cost of $1.35 million dollars. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson served as the keynote speaker for the grand opening ceremony.
The flared control tower won a national award from Progressive Architecture magazine and was featured on the cover of a 1961 Austin telephone book, multiple city publications and used as a backdrop for fashion shows and other city events.
Since the building’s restoration in 2010 that revealed the now-iconic original light- and darker-blue panels, the control tower has become home to a family of owls and continues to display the airport’s tradition of NOEL lights during the holiday season. The tower remains as a distinctive symbol not only for the Mueller neighborhood, but also the city of Austin.
Come on out and get to know Mueller. To get acquainted with the full vision for Mueller, please visit our information center, Mueller Central, located at 4550 Mueller Blvd. Click here for address and operating hours.
To download your copy of the Mueller Development Plan, click here.
For more information regarding Mueller's Design Book, click here.