RED GRANITE MOUNTAIN
Take a free guided tour of our state Capitol building, its native red granite making it one of the most impressive public buildings in the nation, and you’ll see a Capitol that looks much like it appeared after completion in 1888. An extensive restoration and expansion, undertaken in the 1990’s and costing about two hundred million dollars, extended the Capitol complex underground but returned the Capitol building to its original Renaissance Revival splendor. A prime example of the restoration is the Governor’s Public Reception Room, a Victorian parlor furnished with original pieces including a chandelier, marble-topped table, mirror, and curving sofa. Many of the later decorative additions, including those installed during the 1936 centennial celebrations, were restored as well. A stroll across the Rotunda reveals the state’s Great Seal, represented in the terrazzo floor, surrounded by six seals of the countries whose flags have flown over Texas. Two hundred and eighteen feet above, a star—installed across the dome in 1958— measures eight feet from point to point. Throughout the Capitol you’ll find original marble sculptures of Texas politicians like Miriam Ferguson, first female Governor of Texas. But the most recognized female figure associated with the Capitol is the Goddess of Liberty crowning the Capitol dome. The original, made of zinc, was removed and recast in aluminum and the reproduction mounted on the dome as part of the restoration plans. The zinc original, restored, now resides inside her own special museum structure on the Capitol grounds.
The Texas State Capitol was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.