You’re looking at a
scene no one has gazed
on in more than 170 years.
It’s a tiny frontier community
on the Colorado River
called Waterloo.
Back in 1839 when Texas
was its own country,
the second president
of the Republic
of Texas Mirabeau Lamar
suggested making Waterloo
its capital.
The Texas Congress approved
his choice and decided
to change its name to…
Austin, in honor of Texas
pioneer Stephen F. Austin.
After Waterloo became Austin,
the tiny community
started to change.
This is what it looked
like about 75 years later.
And here’s Austin
in the 21st Century.
That’s me!
The State Capitol.
I’m the public face of Texas.
And that means I’ve got
an important job to do.
Come on in, I’ll tell
you all about it.
First of all, the thing I
like best is seeing
all the young visitors.
That’s because the moment
young people see me,
they know right away they’re
in a VERY special place.
A place that celebrates
Texas history,
and a place where history
is still being made.
A place of heroes and legends.
And a place where ordinary
citizens can make their
voices heard.
Texans always look
to the future.
The people built my halls to
serve as the state Capitol.
They also created me as a symbol
of the commitment of Texas
to future generations…
and that means YOU!
Of course, it’s hard to
get to where you’re going
if you don’t know
where you’ve been.
That’s why one of the
first places I want you
to see is the Secretary
of State’s office.
It looks the same way it
looked more than 100 years ago.
Not too long after
this picture was taken.
Secretary of State Jane McCallum
made an amazing discovery here.
Hidden inside a vault, she
found a remarkable document
from the year 1836, probably
the most important year
in Texas history.
It was an original signed
copy of the Texas Declaration
of Independence, whose immortal
words define the Texas spirit
and everything I stand for.
Four days after that document
was signed, the epic conflict
at the Alamo took place.
Every Texan knows about this
event and it is frozen in time
in this painting, “Dawn
at the Alamo,” which hangs
in the Senate Chamber.
It depicts the final day of
the siege when 189 heroes,
including William Travis
and David Crockett,
fought to the death for
the dream of Texas freedom.
Texas lost THAT fight,
but the dream lived on.
Only six weeks later, on April
21st 1836, Texans won the war
for independence at the
Battle of San Jacinto.
Here in the House
of Representatives Chamber you
can see the flag the Texas army
carried at the battle.
I am proud to say that for more
than 80 years I’ve kept
this flag on display
for all Texans to see.
Led by General Sam Houston, 900
Texans needed only 18 minutes
to defeat a much
larger Mexican force.
This victory was THE turning
point in Texas History.
After the Battle of San Jacinto,
Texas became an independent
nation.
In their first national
election,
Texans selected Sam
Houston as president
of the Republic of Texas.
The second president
was Mirabeau Lamar.
It was early in his term
that he rallied support
to make Austin the capital.
There were other
seats of government
in Austin before I
came on the scene.
One of them even
occupied the hilltop
where I now stand
called “Capitol Square.”
Completed after Texas
joined the United States,
it was a plain limestone
building topped
with a small dome.
Many Texans wanted
something larger and grander.
The fact is, they wanted a
building that looked like ME!
Plans for constructing
such a structure were
already well underway
when the Limestone Capitol
caught fire in 1881.
In a moment, I’ll tell
you HOW Texans paid
for the statehouse they wanted,
but first let me tell
you WHAT they received
when they finally built me.
When my doors opened in 1888,
newspapers proudly reported
that I was the 7th largest
building in the world.
And I am still 14 feet taller
than the National Capitol
in Washington, D.C. But
more important is this fact:
I was built to be THE
place where all the work
of Texas government gets done.
That means all three
branches of government.
The Legislative Branch…
The Judicial Branch…
And the Executive Branch,
including all state agencies
and departments, which were
once located in this building.
Half of the legislative branch
meets here in my largest room,
the House of Representatives
Chamber, where members gather
to pass the laws of our state.
When the House is in session,
you can sit in the gallery
and watch representative
democracy in action.
And here’s where the
Senate, the other half
of the legislative
branch, meets.
This chamber and all of my
other rooms lacked furniture
when I first opened.
But eventually I received the
highest quality pieces available
at the time.
In fact, our legislators
still use the same desks
from those early years.
Now let’s explore
the Judicial Branch.
Here’s how the courtroom
of the Texas Supreme
Court appeared more
than 100 years ago.
And here’s what it
looks like today.
To me, it sets the high
standard for what a “Hall
of Justice” should look like.
Even though the court moved
to a different building,
the courtroom looks exactly
like it did when I first opened.
This is a room most
people don’t get to see.
It’s the original private
office of the Governor of Texas,
who oversees the Executive
Branch of state government.
Nowadays, the governor
works in a different room,
but a senior member
of the governor’s staff
still uses this office.
Ever since I opened,
this space has served
as the Governor’s
Public Reception Room.
Governors use it for
formal functions and a place
to meet invited guests.
Even if you do not
have a chance to meet
with the governor you
can still visit this room
and admire the antique
furniture and decorations.
As head of the Executive Branch,
the governor oversees all
state government agencies,
including the State Treasury,
which was once located here.
For a long time, it served
as the Bank of Texas.
Even though the Texas State
Treasury was abolished in 1996
and this room is now used
by the Capitol Tour Guides,
it still looks like an
old bank with vaults
that have elaborately
painted doors.
This is the biggest
vault I have.
The door weighs 28 tons.
The walls are 28-inches thick.
And to make it even more
secure, it’s built underground.
The old Limestone Capitol
that burned didn’t have a big
vault to compare with mine.
But even if it had one the state
didn’t have nearly enough money
in a vault– or anywhere else–
to build a monumental
statehouse like me.
But we Texans are a determined
and resourceful people.
Even before the Limestone
Capitol caught fire,
some clever folks figured
out how to fund construction
of the best Capitol
money could build.
And they figured out how
to do it without money.
Instead, Texas traded more than
3 million acres of state land
in exchange for the
money to build a gigantic
and magnificent Capitol.
ME! With a financing
plan in place,
the state announced a
nationwide design competition.
Texas selected the
drawings submitted
by Michigan architect
Elijah E. Myers.
Groundbreaking took
place February 1, 1882.
Construction hit a snag
when builders realized the
limestone originally selected
for my exterior walls had
pieces of metal embedded in it
that rusted and streaked
after being exposed to air.
I wouldn’t have looked
as magnificent
if this material was used.
Fortunately, the owners
of a nearby quarry donated all
the Texas Sunset Red Granite
needed to complete me.
On March 2, 1885, the 49th
anniversary of the signing
of the Texas Declaration of
Independence from Mexico,
a 12,000-pound granite
cornerstone was laid in place.
At the height of the project
in late 1886 one thousand
workers labored every day.
Fifteen thousand railroad
cars of granite, limestone
and other materials
were delivered
to the construction site.
When it comes to
my construction,
people are most curious
about the dome and the statue
who stands on the top,
the Goddess of Liberty.
The main thing I
want you to know is
that the metal support
structure created
for the dome was an
engineering marvel in its day.
And the Goddess of Liberty?
This photo was taken the
last week of February 1888,
right before she was hoisted
to the top of the dome,
making me more than
300 feet tall.
At last, the grand
Capitol that began
with Elijah E. Myers’ vision
was nearing completion.
The biggest celebration Austin
had ever seen took place
when I was officially
dedicated in May 1888.
Festivities lasted an entire
week, culminating with a speech
by Temple Houston,
son of Sam Houston.
That day he said, “By this
structure shall Texas transmit
herself to posterity.”
I’ll never forget those words
because Senator Houston
was talking about me.
From that day forward,
visitors have wanted
to know what’s inside the dome.
That’s where we’re
headed right now,
and this is the only
way to get there.
The dome is spectacular,
even when you see it
from a great distance.
But here on the inside you see
something equally impressive–
the enormous size
of the metal braces
that support the
dome’s structure
and maintain its perfect shape.
This is what Austin
looks like from walkways
around the outside of the dome.
From here you can see for miles.
And it’s also a good place to
look over the Capitol Grounds…
which were set aside as a
park for the people of Texas.
And that long skylight down
there is part of the more
than 650,000 square-foot
underground Extension completed
in 1993.
It more than doubled my
original floor space,
and relieved a lot
of overcrowding.
I may be old, but I’m still
changing with the times.
Now, I’d like to show you
something really special
that very few people get to see.
It’s up there, in the skylight
structure in that north roof.
These round windows have been
part of me for all these years
and I’m still enchanted
by their pure blue light.
Though you cannot get into
the skylight structure,
sometimes you can
see the streaks
of blue light the windows cast
on the walls of my north wing.
This is the Rotunda,
a place rich
with meaning for every Texan.
From the terrazzo floor
featuring the seals
of the six sovereign nations
that have governed Texas
to the Lone Star,
218 feet overhead,
this place is dedicated to the
history and spirit of Texas.
It’s where we honor the former
presidents of the Republic
of Texas, and former governors
and provisional governors
of the state of Texas.
Many were trailblazers, like
W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel,
the first candidate
for Texas governor
to receive one million votes…
Miriam Ferguson, the first
Texas female governor…
James Hogg, the first
native-born Texas Governor…
and Anson Jones,
the last president
of the Republic of Texas.
All these great leaders and
the many others who are honored
in every room of this building
have helped shape what it means
to be a Texan.
The fact is, our identity can
be traced back to the people
who built this great state.
Our identity was forged
during the battles of 1836,
the settlement of the frontier
and even the construction
of the Capitol.
We Texans believe in ourselves
and rely on each other.
We never stop dreaming.
Our eyes are always fixed
on building a better future.
We believe there are no limits
to the heights we can reach.

The Texas Capitol: Building for the Ages

13 thoughts on “The Texas Capitol: Building for the Ages

  • March 13, 2016 at 11:26 pm
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    1:15 soundtrack

    Reply
  • February 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    Great Lone Star History In Austin Texas

    Reply
  • June 23, 2017 at 3:31 am
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    No mention of Convict Hill Prison Labor ?

    Reply
  • October 13, 2017 at 7:16 am
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    Fail protection suit for Cunningham miasma pampas faimely throw nasal government
    ASAP g mi

    Reply
  • March 4, 2018 at 4:36 pm
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    Matthew McConaughey!

    Reply
  • April 11, 2018 at 4:22 pm
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    Austin Texas History 101

    Reply
  • May 7, 2018 at 7:51 pm
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    SEE DELEON JARMON OF AUSTIN, TEXAS @GOOGLE.COM AND DELEON JARMON VIDEO @FACEBOOK.COM AND 12TH CHICON STREET @YOUTUBE.COM NATALIE ABRAM AND DELEON JARMON BOTH CLIENTS AT THE FRONT STEP ORGINIZATION AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS WITH A HEALTHCARE CALLED DEBLIN HEALTHCARE IN HOUSTON, TEXAS THAT NOT A GOVERNMENTTEXAS HEALTHCARE BUT ALLOWED TO USE FRAUDS TO GET WHATEVER THAT WAY FROM THEIR CLIENTS AT THE SAVATION ARMY AND THE FRONT STEP ORG. HERE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS WHERE MANY OF THE CLIENTS HOUSED AT THE ARCH AND SALVATION ARMY WERE TAKEN AWAY BY VANS TO CASH COMPANY PAYROLL CHECKS DURING SXSW IN MARCH 21, 2015. THE VANS WERE LINE UP ALONG RED RIVER STREET AND IN FRONT OF THE ARCH AND SALVATION ARMY VANS LOADED WITH PEOPLES TO TAKE TO CASH CHECKS AROUND THE STATE OG TEXAS AND BROUGHT BACK TO AUSTIN AS DID DELEON JARMON GIRLFRIEND WHO WAS PREGNANT NATALIE ARAM BORN MAY 8TH 1978 IN OAKLAND, CALIF. LAST FOUR SSN: 1657 CASHED A LOT OF CHECKS DURING SXSW MARCH 20, 2015 AND RENTED A ROOM AT MOTEL 6 FOR HER AND HER COMPANY WHO SOLD HER DRUGS AS SHE PROSITUTE FOR MORE MONEY WHILE WITH MICHELLE JOHNATHAN A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AT THE ARCH 500 EAST 7TH STREET AUSTIN, TEXAS 78701. SEE NATALIE ABRAM VIDEO ON DELEON JARMON FACEBOOK PAGE . THEY KILLED HER CHILD SHE STATED TO ATTORNEYS.

    Reply
  • May 21, 2018 at 8:56 am
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    So is the state capital a building or is the state capital a city (n the building happens to be there )my sister said that a state capital means the best city of a state I was told its called a state capital because the building is the capital having little to do with the city

    Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 8:05 pm
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    Thats like Mannheim

    Reply
  • July 1, 2019 at 1:32 pm
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    Still can’t get over the music

    Reply
  • July 6, 2019 at 7:16 pm
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    Great video! We were so inspired by our trip to Texas and the state capital. We had no idea how rich the history of Texas is! Thanks again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzl8Ho1whtg&t=3s

    Reply
  • July 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm
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    say goodbye texas im annilating yall never thought i would exterminate a region of the planet into hell fire also never thought you God Damn traitors would ever be so inbred to backstab me but theres a first for everything now fuck yall texas burn in God Damn hell for trying to murder you you pious faggot coward pieces of shit wastes of air cocksuckin losers!!! fuck all u fags!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 9:39 am
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    You would be sad about all the illegals here now 😞
    The rule of law is important, illegals should not be here.

    Reply

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