From Sea to Shining Sea, Day 19: Austin, TX to Fredericksburg, TX
|AND THAT'S JUST THE PART YOU CAN SEE. (Photo from Wikipedia)|
|SUNSET RED GRANITE IS NATIVE TO TEXAS. (Photo from Wikipedia)|
|THOUGH IT LOOKS TINY, THE STAR AT THE TOP OF THE DOME MEASURES 8 FEET ACROSS.|
|DECORATIVE ROTUNDA FLOOR (Photo from Wikipedia)|
|SENATE MEMBERS STILL USE ORIGINAL WALNUT DESKS. (Photo from Wikipedia)|
|VIEW OF THE NORTH SHOWS SKYLIGHTS AND OPEN-AIR ROTUNDA. (Photo from State Preservation Board)|
Having visited a total of 30 state capitol buildings now, we found the Texas version to be in the middle of the pack. It certainly wins the size prize, but many that we've seen have more architectural appeal and considerably more state symbolism and history incorporated in their designs. The interior was particularly lacking in meaningful decor with many blank walls and missed opportunities to showcase what is so special about Texas.
|FOLLOW THE SIGNS OR YOUR EYES?|
Later in the day, we visited the LBJ Library and Museum on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, but that's a story for another post.
THURSDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2016
• Length: 300 ft.
• Width: 586 ft.
• Construction: 1882-1888
• Cost: $3,744,600
• Height Advantage over U.S. Capitol: 23 ft.
• Total Floorspace: 8.5 acres
• Grounds: 22.5 acres
• Exterior Walls: 4,000 rail boxcar loads of sunset granite
• Length of reign as tallest building in Austin: 84 years
• Roof: 85,000 sq. ft. of copper
Loved: The clever way that state officials expanded the capitol to add needed space without destroying the building's historic appearance.
Lacking: A visible wow factor. The most interesting facet of America's largest statehouse is the fact that two-thirds of it is invisible from the street level. As for the exterior you can see, it's big and it's pink, and...it's big and pink.
Learned: Filibuster rules in the Texas Senate are not for the faint of heart. When speaking during a filibuster, a senator is limited to topics relevant to the bill being discussed and cannot eat, drink or use the restroom during the speech. The rules also prohibit sitting or leaning on a desk or chair under any circumstances when the senator has the floor and is speaking on the bill or resolution. After three violations of these rules, the speaker is required to yield the floor.
More Photos from the Capitol
|FROM THE ATRIUM, ONE CAN SEE THE LEGISLATIVE LIBRARY.|
|THE HOUSE CHAMBER PROVIDES SEATING FOR ITS 180 MEMBERS. (Photo from Wikipedia)|
|THE OPEN-AIR ROTUNDA OF THE UNDERGROUND ANNEX.|
|SKYLIGHT FOR THE ANNEX (Photo from Wikipedia)|
|TEXAS SENATE CHRISTMAS DECORATING: GO BIG OR GO HOME.|