VIDEO: Stiefel Tower Lights the Sky

The tower of the Stiefel Theatre lit the downtown Salina sky Thursday night for the first time in 66 years.

In 1954 lightning caused damage to the upper tiers of the tower, which was completed in 1931. The lightning strike caused the necessary removal of the top layers.

As part of a renovation project in 2020, the top layers were rebuilt exactly as they were in 1931, complete with a spire on top.

The original tower extended four stories tall and was topped with a neon beacon requiring 200,000 watts of electricity and a fluid cooling system. Thirty recessed lights illuminated the tower.

The new tower was illuminated for the public for first time Thursday evening. In frontĀ  of a large crow that gathered, Stiefel Theatre Executive Director Jane Gates spoke briefly, before ordering the lights to come on. The crowd applauded as the lights, which are similar to the lights of the downtown overhangs, came on.

The theatre lights, which are programmable with multi colors, will be utilized in much the same way the overhang lights are utilized.