The august Texas State House - Austin, Texas USA

The Texas Capitol is an extraordinary example of late 19th century USA public architecture and is widely recognized as one of the nation's most distinguished state capitols. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986 for its "significant contribution to American history."


Sited on one of Austin's highest points, the Capitol anchors the northern periphery of the downtown commercial district and commands a sweeping view towards the Colorado River from its southern façade. The main campus of The University of Texas at Austin is situated four blocks to the north. Wonderful views of the Capitol's dome from many vantage points throughout the Austin area are protected from obscuration by state law.


Completed in 1888 as the winning design from a national competition, the Capitol's style is Renaissance Revival, based on the architecture of 15th-century Italy and characterized by classical orders, round arches and symmetrical composition. The structural exterior is "sunset red" granite, quarried just 50 miles from the site. Additional structural support is provided by masonry walls and cast iron columns and beams. The foundation is limestone. Texas paid for the construction not in dollars, but in land: some three million acres in the Texas Panhandle that would later become the famous XIT Ranch.


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. Like several other state capitols, the 1888 Texas Capitol surpasses the National Capitol in height, rising almost 15 feet above its Washington counterpart.


In 1993, the $75 million underground Capitol Extension was completed to the north, doubling the square footage available to Capitol occupants and providing much improved functionality. In 1995, a comprehensive interior and exterior restoration of the original building was completed at a cost of approximately $98 million. Finally, in 1997, the park-like grounds surrounding the Capitol were given a much needed $8 million renovation and restoration.


  • Giovanni 7y

    Great presentation, very nice shot!!! Have a great week.:)
  • Fabrizio Zago PRO 7y

    Great composition!
    Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)
  • JoWiJo PRO 7y

    It has been a long time since I have visited the state buildings in Austin. Too long. Now that I have been bitten by the photo bug, I may have to return here... if I can afford the gas.
  • Sandy Su 7y

    "This photograph is a WINNER!"

    the BEST of Flickr!!!
  • Adventures of KM&G-Morris PRO 7y

    Beautiful photo of our lovely Capitol Building. Regardless of who is in office, every Texan loves that scene. We recently had a tragic fire that severely damaged the Governor's Mansion; the cause was arson. Here's a link to that tidbit of info:
  • N3074Echo 7y

    Thanks for your kind comments and invitations. Yes, KM&G, I had heard of the sad news of the arsonist torching the Governor's Mansion. Believe it or not, while I was in the employ of the Great State of Texas, I resided within eyeshot (one block) of this most impressive and magnificent structure, the capitol building. I will never take her beauty for granted. I continue to be awed by her majesty and grandeur.
  • Pablo PRO 7y

    wow. Senor Bruce... a terrific photo ,an equally wonderful history... where do I sign up! (tour w/ you:)

    thanks, Pablo
  • Fadi J. PRO 7y

    I don't know what is more amazing your photography talent or your writing skills! Both have amazed me today :)
  • natureloving PRO 7y

    Beautiful architecture
    looking your stream i can feel i am exploring all around the world
  • A time for refreshing PRO 7y

    this one also is wonderfull "naturally" framed!
    using a "natural landscape framing" technique and also using the tree leaves as a "pointer" to the subject matter.
  • K B 7y

    Hey You! I'm an admin. for the group ATX representing all things Austin, and we'd love for you to join our brand new group ATX!
  • Capitolshots Photography (Old) 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called State Capitols, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
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Taken on July 24, 2004
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