Austin’s Tallest Building Is, Um, Controversial. Starting Tonight It Will Look A Little Different.

The top of the Independent (for many, the Jenga Tower) has been the subject of debate since it was completed last year. Tonight, the building near the corner of West Avenue and Third Street will look a little different.

Credit Richie Loria for KUT

The Independent, a condominium building near West Avenue and Third Street, is the tallest structure in the city.

The lights on the “crown” of the building come on, bathing the top of the structure in a warm white light.

The change was first reported by James Rambin on the Austin Towers blog.

“At dusk, the Independent’s crown will be outfitted with its inaugural lighting and will likely become one of the most noticeable additions to the tower from a public perspective,” the building’s co-developer Aspen Heights said in an email.

The crown of this building was certainly a notable addition to the Austin skyline. We covered the controversy last year (and I use that term loosely). Some people say that the top gives the building an unfinished look – or that it is just plain ugly. Others are more supportive.

The skyscraper is constructed in such a way that it partially limits its sway in the wind. The fence-like thing above hides a large tank of water that compensates for the movement of the building.

The owners have been testing the system off and back on for a while, but starting tonight the lights will come on every night, triggered by sensors that detect when the sun is setting.

Based on the Instagram posts from the company working on the lighting, we’ve been able to see some more dramatic light displays going forward – not just vanilla white.

View this post on Instagram We’re excited to announce that Light Support is The Independent’s Crown Lighting Programming and Targeting Advisor! We’re partnering with the talented team at @ion_art_atx to shed a little more light on the Austin skyline! Here are some photos from a recent test. #lightingcontrols #lightingdesign #colorkinetics #architecturallighting #austintx @theindependentaustin @colorkinetics @signify_press A post from Light Support (@lightsupportservices) on Jan 13, 2020 at 9:08 am PST

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