Texas State Capitol
Structure in General
- The Texas State Capitol is the largest state capitol in the US in terms of square feet. Only the US Capitol is larger. It's taller than the US Capitol by 23 feet. When it was built it was the 7th largest building in the world. It contains 2 1/4 acres of area, with 8 1/2 acres of floorspace.
- It was the tallest building in Texas at the time it was built and stood as Texas' tallest building for 35 years and Austin's tallest for 86 years.
- In May 1986 a new statue was lifted into place on top of the building by the same twin rotor "Chinook" helicopter used to attach the old statue. Thunderstorms and other problems caused delays to the process, and eventually a Sikorsky CH-54A Skycrane helicopter was called in from the Mississippi National Guard to complete the job.
- On November 24, 1985, a tandem rotor helicopter removed the original statue which had been badly damaged by time, and it was replaced.
- In 1985 a new statue was built, an exact replica of the original. Built of aluminum, it is lighter and longer-lasting than the original Zinc. The public could view the statue at Camp Mabry, home of the Texas National Guard.
- "The Great Walkway" in front of the State Capitol was built in 1889 and is 25 feet wide and over 500 feet long. Every year a 30 foot Christmas tree is placed at the end of the walkway at Congress Avenue and decorated with lights.
- The Capitol contains 392 rooms, with 924 windows and 404 doors. Over 1,000 people worked on the building's construction.
- Tallest building in Austin for 84 years from 1888 until 1972, after the completion of the Dobie Center The Texas State Capitol held the title of "Austin's tallest building" longer than any other skyscraper in the city's history.
- On June 14, 1986 the statue was successfully lifted into place. The new statue is expected to crown the Capitol for at least the next 100 years. The old statue is now at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin.
- Second tallest building in the world completed in 1888.
- Construction materials: Exterior Walls: 4,000 railroad carloads of Texas Pink Granite, also known as Texas "Sunset Granite". Foundation and interior wall construction: Texas limestone. Woodwork: Mostly oak and pine. Some cherry, mahogany, walnut and cedar. Dome: Galvanized, cast and wrought iron. Roof: Copper covering 85,000 square feet. Cornerstone weight, (located in northeast corner of capitol), 16,000 pounds and was put into place on March 2, 1885 which was the 49th anniversary of Texas' Independence.
- Goddess of Liberty, the statue atop the capitol today, is not the original from when the capitol was finished and was placed atop the capitol on Feburary 26, 1888. People are still not sure how they got the original statue to its 311 foot perch but they think it was put up in sections perhaps through a door at the top of the capitol dome. It stayed there for 97 years and 9 months. The statue was made of zinc, and it stood 15 feet 7 1/2 inches and weighed around 1,500 pounds.
- The Capitol has won for "Best Downtown Building (old)" every year in the Austin Chronicle's "Best of Austin" feature, with twice as many votes as the runner-up. The building also wins in the "Best Historic Structure" category every year.
- Interior height of the dome is 266 feet from floor.
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Features & Amenities
- One of the city's famous buildings
- City landmark
- National landmark