Things to Do

To See the Texas State Capitol Building is to See Amazing Texas Design and Architecture

By  | 

The Texas State Capitol building in Austin was completed in 1888. It houses the chambers and offices of the Governor and the Texas Legislature. Construction took place over a period of six years and the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. In 1993, a $75 million underground extension was also added to the building, which is recognized as the sixth tallest state capitol and one of a few which are taller than the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

One of the Largest Barters in History 

To See the Texas State Capitol Building is to See Amazing Texas Design and Architecture

Photo: Flickr/Kumar Appaiah

The third building to serve its purpose (the second was destroyed in the great capitol fire of 1881), construction was funded through an article of the state constitution authorizing the sale of public lands for that purpose. The Capitol Syndicate (John and Charles Farwell) made one of the largest barter transactions recorded in history, in which they were paid for its construction with over three million acres of public land in the “Panhandle.” Construction expenses together with the value of the land added up to a total cost for the project coming in at 3.7 million dollars. The construction crews consisted largely of convicts or migrant workers, and the building’s cornerstone was laid on March 2, 1885 (Texas Independence Day).

The Beautiful Granite Exterior Was Donated for Free.

To See the Texas State Capitol Building is to See Amazing Texas Design and Architecture

Photo: Wikimedia

When completed, the building opened to the public on April 21, 1888 (San Jacinto Day). The granite which can be seen on the building’s exterior today was donated, free of charge, by the owners of Granite Mountain near Marble Falls. The interior and the east wing underwent restoration from 1983-1993 resulting from damages caused by an intense fire. And to address the shortage of storage and office space, the underground extension which was constructed in 1993 was added beneath the north plaza.

The Breathtaking Capitol Dome

To See the Texas State Capitol Building is to See Amazing Texas Design and Architecture
Photo: Flickr/Kumar Appaiah

Page 1 of 2:12