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Austin - the Capital/Capitol Building -Part I-

poinsettia plant
connecting to: MACRO Monday

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This building, below in photos, the Texas State Capitol, is of great significance to the state!! Some historical facts are:
  1. Built 1882-1888
  2. Cornerstone [weight-16,000 *another site states 18,000 pounds] laid March 2, 1885 [anniversary of Texas Independence Day]
  3. Cost: $3.7 MILLION!!! [1888 dollars]
  4. Exterior Walls - Texas Sunset Granite [pink] hauled from Marble Falls, Texas - 4000 railroad carloads
  5. 392 rooms, 924 windows, and 404 doors.
  6. Over 1,000 people worked on the building's construction at a time.
  7. The largest state capitol in the US in terms of square feet.
  8. Taller than the US Capitol by 23 feet.
  9. In 1888 - it was the 7th largest in the world & second tallest in the world.
  10. "The Great Walkway" in front of the State Capitol was built in 1889 and is 25 feet wide and over 500 feet long.
  11. The dome's statue....Goddess of Liberty...placed atop the capitol on Feburary 26, 1888. Not original, The Goddess of Liberty today is a replacement - placed atop by a helicopter!!
  12. Goddess of Liberty Lonestar - gilded
  13. Height of dome is 266 feet
  14. The completed building was opened to the public on April 21, 1888, San Jacinto Day. [the day Texas won its independence from Mexico]
  15. Ironically, there are 365 steps from its basement to the dome - one for each day of the year.
  16. An extraordinary edifice by any measure, the 1888 Texas Capitol is the largest in gross square footage of all state capitols and is second in total size only to the National Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Now, for some photos of the capitol as we toured the building and grounds:

...the dome and the 'great walkway'

...each and EVERY door [from the entry doors to the interior doors] had two large hinges like this one: I would dearly give my two ovaries to have one of these. Why, I don't know. But I thought they were quite impressive. The bronze hinges and hardware produced using glass molds especially for the building by Sargent and Co. of New Haven, Connecticut, in the late 1880s. The eight inch by eight inch hinges are inscribed with the words "Texas Capitol" and weigh over seven pounds each.

When arriving on Congress Street in Downtown Austin, and finally finding a place to park, we then had to get into a large, long line of 'tourists and visitors' who were waiting to enter the capitol. When it was our turn to go through the security/detectors, we were at last inside the capitol. Before entering the rotunda, these two statues greeted us. LEFT: Stephen Austin This marble portrait statue of Stephen F. Austin, designed by sculptor Elisabeth Ney, was unveiled in the South Foyer of the Texas State Capitol on January 19, 1903. RIGHT: Sam Houston This marble portrait statue of Sam Houston, designed by sculptor Elisabeth Ney, was unveiled in the South Foyer of the Texas State Capitol on January 19, 1903. [first president of the Republic of Texas]

What was at one time, nearly a hundred years ago, where legislators and state employees cashed their paychecks in this Treasury Department room; then considered the bank of Texas. It is now an information/guide room.

...the rotunda where portraits of the Presidents of the Republic and Governors of the State circle the four public levels.

looking up while standing in the rotunda's ground floor, the dome!! And zooming in further, over 200 feet, the star [eight feet] at the top....between each star's point, it spells T E X A S

...choice of climbing the extended floors for the tour by stairs or elevators [the elevator doors had the Texas Seal etched]. But, for me, the stairwells were most eloquent and ---I chose the stairways!!! The next installment of the Texas Hill Country will be the legal part of the capitol and its grounds. This building is awesome, if you ever have a chance to tour it ---do so!!!



  1. I love Austin! Pam and I were there a couple of years ago for a visit.

    We went to the LBJ Museum and then to see The Rolling Stones in concert at Zilker Park. What a mix..right?

    We have both been to the capitol but had never toured the LBJ Library. It is really a very interesting place to visit.

    You certainly get a different perspective of his and the Kennedy years when you visit. It's really a disgrace he is only remembered for his mistakes during the Viet Nam era.

    It's well worth the visit. Pam and I left in shock, when we discovered all of the wonderful legislation for which he was personally responsible. Much of that legislation was credited to others and they accepted the accolades.

    Thanks for all the info. and the wonderful pictures!! They bring back some very good and also funny memories.

    Happy Sunday Anni!

    1. We were considering stopping in Johnson City, but I wanted to spend a lot more time in the Pedernales Park instead. Maybe next time....

  2. A grand looking building. Quite impressive. Those hinges are pretty amazing. I would only be able to offer one ovary for them though since I've had one surgically removed already :)

    1. pssssst....I don't have any to trade off. LOL

  3. A very wonderful tour. If I ever get to Austin you can bet it will be on my list! :-)

    1. won't be disappointed to be sure.

  4. Interesting information.

    1. ...glad you found it of interest Denise.

  5. Very interesting, Anni...great shots. One of these days I'll have to visit in person, though your tour was fun.

    1. ...if you get a chance I'd recommend it.

  6. We toured the capital when we stayed in Austin -- it is amazing and your pictures are great. (Oddly we've been coming to Florida for 5 years now and have yet to visit the Capitol building here, don't even know anything about it.)

  7. A wonderful history lesson with great photos to match!
    Years ago there was a country song with Austin in it. I'd forgotten about it until now.
    Thanks for your visit this week!

    1. ...thank YOU for stopping by Carletta.

  8. I toured the building with my classmates when I was in elementary school, nearly 50 years ago. Of course, I didn't appreciate the history then. I was just in awe of how high the ceiling (dome) was. I would love to go back and see it again. Maybe someday, Hubby and I will get a wild hair and get on I35 to Austin! Loved this post! Truly!

    1. ...glad you liked the post.