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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Capital of Texas

We love going to visit the State Capital Buildings in the states that we visit. So being in Austin it was a must do for us to go see the Texas Capitol building. We wanted to do the tour of the capital but because we had already did so much that day my knee just wouldn't permit it... We will do it next visit. The slogan states that "everything is bigger in Texas," and if you look at the Capitol, the phrase rings true. Standing a stately 309 feet and modeled after the nation's Capitol in Washington D.C., this is the nation's tallest. Designed by architect Elijah E. Myers and constructed of red granite, the Capitol took more than seven years to complete. It was finished in 1888, at a total cost of more than three million dollars, an extravagant price even by today's standards. During the dedication, Temple Houston, son of Sam Houston, had this to say about the structure: "This building fires the heart and excites reflections in the minds of all... the architecture of a civilization is its most enduring feature, and by this structure shall Texas transmit herself to posterity..."

Picture on left is a view from the University of Texas campus

In 1983, a fire almost destroyed the building. The State Preservation Board was then formed to help preserve, maintain, and restore the Capitol and its grounds. In 1990, a project began to expand the building, and by 1993, 667,000 square feet had been added. Over the years, many more improvements have been made to the Capitol.

Inside the dome

The Capitol Visitors Center is located in the General Land Office Building, which was built in 1856, making it Texas’ oldest state office building. It is located at the southeast corner of the Capitol grounds and for all you budget minded people the admission is free. It contains a gift shop and many exhibits, including photos, videos, artifacts. We missed going into this too but I am not worried because we plan on coming back to Austin next year on the way to the west coast...

The Texas Governor's Mansion has been the home of every Texas governor since 1856. It is the fourth-oldest continuously occupied governor's residence in the United States. The building is an important example of Greek Revival architecture and contains one of the nation's finest collections of early 19th century furniture. Sadly in June 2008 it was damaged badly by fire and still today not renovated. We couldn't even see it because of all the construction. But I wanted you all to see it so I am posting a before and after picture I got from the Internet.

Until Later... Have FUN, Travel Safe & Enjoy Everyday!


Kat said...

Glad you're having fun in Austin Donna! Isn't the Capitol gorgeous. I wish you could see the grounds in the spring, they are just beautiful. I just love driving through Austin and seeing that dome from almost every direction. Hope you enjoy the LBJ Library. Kathy

The Muse said...

SIGH ! the designer in me is in 7th heaven:) golly, what a vision :)
I agree with Kathy, sure glad you are having fun!!!!

Rick said...

Thanks for the tour - terrific pictures too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna! I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself in our great state of Texas! Now, I hope you did the correct thing and placed your tiny dainty hand over your heart when you entered the capitol building! :) You know I'm kidding! It is pretty, isn't it.
Poor old mansion, that's a shame!
My daughter lived in Austin and was going to UT and that's where she met her husband, they were married there and we just love to go to Austin. Have you driven down 6th street yet? It's kinda a trendy restaurant/club street, but cool!
Have fun.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love seeing where you are traveling! Austin is one of my favorite destinations, too. The capitol building is awesome! Enjoy your time there!

Hootin' Anni said...

It seems like it's taking forever to renovate and reconstruct the Governor's mansion. I think a lot of the delay was all the hoopla of arson investigations and such. I do hope soon it'll be back to its 'original'.

Wonderful photos. Austin is such a beautiful city.

Hope your day has been terrific. And as always, thank for visiting!!

Love Bears All Things said...

Looks like you're enjoying the road. Must not be too cold in Austin.
Be careful with your knee.
Mama Bear

Happytrails said...

The capitol building is just beautiful. I love the picture of the dome from the inside looking up. Quite impressive!

I just love Texas! I can't wait until we can return and do some serious exploring. :)

Take care of that knee.

Justine said...

Ooh, I somehow missed one of your posts. Thought you were still in Waco! The capitol building is beautiful!!!!

Justine :o )

Margie M. said...

That was a wonderful post, Donna. Your pic of the dome was terrific. Have a great time there and mind the knee!

Dawn Fine said...

I am catching up on your posts..and now taking notes..
We will be in Texas the end of march and will stay for a few months..
Big Bend is our first stop...
Maybe our paths will cross.....

SmilingSally said...

When are you going to come HOME? Aren't you tired of snow and cold yet? Oh, I just remembered, it's cold here too!

Have a great day!

Kristens Creations said...

Hi Donna, How's the snow?? LOL! You just thought you were getting away from it. Maybe you didn't get any but I know Dallas did. Great post! Happy Valentine's Day! Kristen


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