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The Tower of the Americas is a 750ft observation tower-restaurant located in the Hemisfair district on the southeastern portion of Downtown San Antonio, Texas. The tower was designed by San Antonio architect O'Neil Ford and was built as the theme structure of the 1968 World's Fair, HemisFair '68. It was the tallest observation tower in the United States from 1968 until 1996, when the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower was completed. It is the tallest building in San Antonio, and the 27th tallest building in Texas. The tower is located in the middle of HemisFair Park and has an observation deck that is accessible by elevator for a fee. There is also a lounge and revolving restaurant at the top of the tower that provides panoramic views of the city. The fastest recorded time up the tower's 952 steps is 5 minutes 18 seconds on January 29, 1981.