Building 100 "Taj Mahal"

Location: Building 100, outer Washington Circle, Randolph AFB, at intersection of HWY 78 & HWY 218, San Antonio, TX

In 1928 the San Antonio Airport Company purchased 2300 acres of land near the city and donated it to the United States Army Air Corps for development of a consolidated flight training facility. Called "the West Point of the air", Randolph Field was dedicated June 20, 1930. One month later, construction was begun on an administration building, designated as Building 100. Because of the structure's exotic appearance, student flyers nicknamed it "The Taj Mahal" soon after its completion in October 1931.

With its height and location, the building dominated Randolph Field and the surrounding countryside. It was also a prominent feature in several motion pictures filmed here. To many Americans, "The Taj Mahal" came to symbolize military aviation at a time when air power was becoming vital to military strength.

Building 100 was designed by San Antonio architect Atlee B. Ayres. Its unusual 170-foot tower conceals a 500,000-gallon water storage tank. A powerful beacon atop the tower can be seen by aircraft up to fifty miles away. The building also contains an 1100-seat movie theater. Its administrative offices now (1975) house the command section of the 12th Flying Training Wing of the United States Air Force. (1975)