Free Texas Capitol tours are available daily and feature information about the Capitol, Texas history and the Texas legislature. To begin a tour, visit the Capitol Information and Guide Service, located in the restored Treasurer's Business Office on the first floor of the Capitol. Tours are generally 45 minutes in length. The Capitol is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Easter. Tours are available during the following hours:
|Mon - Fri:||8:30 am - 4:30 pm|
|Sat:||9:30 am - 3:30 pm|
|Sun:||Noon - 3:30 pm|
About the Texas State CapitolThe Texas Capitol is an extraordinary example of late 19th century 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.
In 1993, the $75 million underground Capitol Extension was completed to the north of the Capitol, 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.
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