Erected in 1888 and standing at 78 stories (1,207 ft to the tip of its antenna), the Old Wayne Tower was designed by stepbrothers Nicholas Anders and Bradley Gate, with support from Edward Elliot, Mayor Theodore Cobblepot and Alan Wayne.
The tower was the first of a new series of skyscrapers proposed by the brothers, utilising a new method of foundation construction to enable the buildings to grow higher than previously thought possible. Proposed as a landmark and as a symbol of welcome to people coming to Gotham.
At the top of the tower is the observation deck, which Alan Wayne insisted remain free and open to the public every weekend, all year round. The windows were made of a double-bonded, laminated float glass, designed to be crystal-quality, weatherproof and unbreakable.
The tower has twelve gargoyle "guardians"; one to watch over each passageway into the city. Arranged in tiers, the first tier has five guardians placed to watch over the five original gateways into Gotham; the three bridges and two tunnels, the second tier is a ring of seven guardians to protect the seven train lines that converge at Union Station built below the tower's base. In 1930 another guardian was added to the twelve, located half way up the tower the guardian was installed by Alan's son, Henry Wayne as the guardian for vistors arriving by air into Gotham.
As with all Wayne-funded buildings following the construction of the Wayne Tower, the thirteenth floor was left abandoned and inaccessible by design to eradicate the "thirteenth-floor" superstition. The Court of Owls took advantage of this by converting this floor in these buildings into headquarters for their Talon agents.
Following his discovery and subsequent defeat of the organization, Batman moved his operations to the Talon Nest within the tower after the cave beneath Wayne Manor was shut down.