Texas Capitol Visitors Center

Texas Capitol Visitors Center

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Photo courtesy of the Texas Capitol Visitors Center
The original cornerstone of the Old Land Office, laid in 1856, is still visible on the northeast corner of the Texas Capitol Visitors Center.
After the Texas General Land Office moved to its new home across 11th st. in 1918, the building was leased to The Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Daughters of the Confederacy who operated museums of Texas history in the structure. The DRT operated a Texas Revolution museum on the second floor, while the DoC operated a Texas Civil War museum on the first floor. Both groups occupied the old land office for 70 years from 1919-1988 before it was vacated and restored to its 19th century appearance to serve as the Texas Capitol Visitors Center.
Designed by German-born Architect Conrad Stremme the building that now serves as the Texas Capitol Visitors Center was originally built as the headquarters of the Texas General Land Office. Constructed from 1856-1857, this unique structure features Norman and German inspired designs which create a castle like appearance. Celebrating its 160th birthday in 2017, the Texas Capitol Visitors Center, or the Old Land Office has beard witness to some of the most important events in Austin and Texas history an is the oldest remaining state office building still in use by the State of Texas.
During the administration of Jane McCallum, the first woman to serve as Secretary of State, McCallum rediscovered an original copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence folded up in a vault in her office. After her discovery she worked to preserve and display the most important document from Texas history. The Declaration was put on display in the South Foyer of the Texas State Capitol in a contraption made specifically to hold the document called the Iron Grille.

Artisans at Austin's Weigl Iron Works, now Iron Works BBQ, handcrafted the Iron Grille which fit in front of a a revolving glass case which housed the declaration. The document went on display March 2nd, 1930 and a copy later replaced the original manuscript found. The Iron Grille is now on display in the Texas Capitol Visitors Center. Artisans from Weigl Iron Works would also forge the gates for the grounds of the French Legation in the 1950's.
Seventh grade students and chaperones kept Austin weird on their annual trip to the capital! ⭐️ POP Stars visited the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum, the Texas Capitol Visitors Center, and even the Texas State Capitol itself for a special Halloween-themed tour.

👉 Some of the topics covered: La Salle's expedition to the Gulf of Mexico and the sinking of La Belle, Austin City Limits, the evolution of land ownership and property rights, and true crime in the Capitol.

🐝 #POPStarsShine #POPClassOf2023
September 15th-October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrating the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

On the grounds of the Texas State Capitol , nine life-size bronze statues stand on a 275-ton Texas Sunset Red Granite base. Installed in 2012, the monument pays tribute to the contributions by Tejanos, the Spanish and Mexican explorers and pioneers who began to settle Texas after the Spanish arrival in the 1500s, to Texas history and culture.

Artist Armando Hinojosa sculpted the ten bronze statues showing different stages of Tejano settlement, with a Spanish explorer, a vaquero, or cowboy, with his cattle, and a family of rancheros, or ranchers, with their livestock. On the base of the monument, five plaques detail the contributions of Tejanos, from the earliest Spanish explorers to modern Tejanos.

📷 Photos courtesy of the Texas Capitol Visitors Center

#HispanicHeritageMonth #TxCapTour #texasstatecapitol🏛 #frenchlegationshs #frenchlegationaustin #frenchlegation #austin #austintx #texas
He sprang into the saddle easily as a bird, got the quirt from the horn, and gave his pony a slash with it. "Cricket," who once brought in Good Boy by a neck at Hawthorne-and a 10 to 1 shot-had his foot in the stirrups again.
McGuire led the cavalcade as they dashed away for San Carlos, and the cow-punchers gave a yell of applause as they closed in behind his dust.
- O. Henry, Hygeia At The Solito

Hygeia At The Solito
Tuesday August 31, 2021 1:30 PM CST
Texas Capitol Visitors Center
On this day in 1798, Mirabeau Lamar was born in Louisville Georgia. Poet, attorney, soldier, diplomat, politician. Lamar would serve as the second president of the Republic of Texas. During his term as president, he moved the capital of the republic from Houston to the newly founded city of Austin. It was also during his term as president that France recognized the Republic of Texas as an independent nation, the first and only European nation to do so.

Originally of French descent, Lamar met with Dubois on several occasions in both Houston and Austin with Dubois remarking that, "the memories of the native land of (his) forefathers are far from being obliterated.” According to historians, Dr. Robertson was a neighbor of Lamar when he lived in Austin and his wife Lydia Lee provided inspiration for of one of Mirabeau B. Lamar's poems.

Lamar had great personal charm, impulsive generosity, and oratorical gifts. His friends were almost fanatically devoted to him; though his enemies declared him a better poet than politician, they never seriously questioned the purity of his motives or his integrity. Lamar County and the town of Lamar in Aransas County were named for him as well as Lamar Boulevard in Austin Texas.

Full length portrait of Mirabeau Lamar courtesy of the Texas State Capitol and Texas Capitol Visitors Center.
If you are knowing in the chronicles of the ring you will recall to mind an event in the early 'nineties when, for a minute and sundry odd seconds, a champion and a "would-be" faced each other on the alien side of an international river. So brief a conflict had rarely imposed upon the fair promise of true sport. The reporters made what they could of it, but, divested of padding, the action was sadly fugacious. The champion merely smote his victim, turned his back upon him, remarking, "I know what I done to dat stiff," and extended an arm like a ship's mast for his glove to be removed.
-O. Henry, Hygeia At the Solito

Hygeia At The Solito
Tuesday August 31, 2021 1:30 PM CST
Texas Capitol Visitors Center
This photo from the Historic American Building's Survey was taken on January 20th 1934. It is one of the oldest known photographs of the historic French Legation House. At this time Lillie and Sarah Robertson were residing in the home. After the death of Mrs. Robertson in 1902, Lillie continued to live in the house.

Lillie was an early member of the William B. Travis chapter of the The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, to which she devoted much of her time. She saw to it that the nearby Texas State Cemetery was well cared for and helped organize the transfer of the DRT's collection of artifacts from the Texas State Capitol to the new museum on the second floor of the Old Land Office Building (now the Texas Capitol Visitors Center) in 1919.

Lillie also provided guided tours of her historic house to the public, which she called the "French Embassy." While she was prone to getting carried away with her facts about the house, she preformed an invaluable service not only in maintaining the house, but also in keeping this historic building in the memory of the public.

A more official form of recognition came in 1934, when a young architect Louis C. Page Jr. visited the house. Recently unemployed by the Great Depression, Page was working for the federal government under on of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration programs, the Historic American Building's Survey (HABS). Page took photographs of the house and made several sketches of the historic home. The French Legation was thus among one of the earliest buildings listed in the HABS.

📷Photo HABS TEX,227-AUST,1--2 courtesy of the The Library of Congress.
Happy National Tourism Day! As part of the Texas State Preservation Board, proceeds from your purchases at the Texas Capitol Gift Shop support the preservation and maintenance of the Texas State Capitol and Capitol Grounds, the Texas Capitol Visitors Center and contribute to the operation of the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Texas Governor's Mansion, and the Texas State Cemetery. Every purchase made also supports educational programs related to Texas history, government, and culture to benefit the citizens of Texas and visitors to the state. Thank you for your continued support!

Located in the historic Texas General Land Office (built in 1856-1857), the Capitol Visitors Center features interactive exhibits and films about the Capitol and Texas history, free travel information and an outstanding gift shop.

Housed in the historic Texas General Land Office Building (built 1856-1857), the Capitol Visitors Center provides an informative, exciting and FREE orientation to the Capitol Complex. The Visitors Center features interactive exhibits and films about Capitol and Texas history, free Texas travel information and an outstanding Gift Shop.

Operating as usual

08/25/2021

He sprang into the saddle easily as a bird, got the quirt from the horn, and gave his pony a slash with it. "Cricket," who once brought in Good Boy by a neck at Hawthorne-and a 10 to 1 shot-had his foot in the stirrups again.
McGuire led the cavalcade as they dashed away for San Carlos, and the cow-punchers gave a yell of applause as they closed in behind his dust.
- O. Henry, Hygeia At The Solito

Hygeia At The Solito
Tuesday August 31, 2021 1:30 PM CST
Texas Capitol Visitors Center

tspb.texas.gov 09/20/2020

SPB - Austin Museum Day Activities

Today the Texas State Capitol, Capitol Visitors Center, and Texas State Cemetery, are joining forces to share a virtual Austin Museum Day experience. Visit https://tspb.texas.gov/atxmd/ to download family activities and take a virtual tour of the Capitol, Capitol Grounds, Visitors Center, Governor’s Mansion, and State Cemetery.
#atxmuseumday2020

tspb.texas.gov Official website of the Texas State Preservation Board. We preserve, restore, and maintain the Texas Capitol, Capitol Visitors Center, Governors Mansion, Bullock Museum, State Cemetery and their grounds.

tspb.texas.gov 03/17/2020

State Preservation Board

The Capitol, Capitol Visitors Center, the Texas State Cemetery, the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage, all gift shops and the Capitol Grill are currently closed to the public. Please visit the State Preservation Board website at www.tspb.texas.gov for further information.

tspb.texas.gov

02/05/2020

Come join us! JC Elkins O. Henry Literary Discussion Group

01/25/2020

JC Elkins O. Henry Literary Discussion Group

"The building is stone with a coating of concrete; the walls are immensly thick; it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter; it is isolated and sombre; standing apart from the other state buildings, sullen and decaying, brooding on the past."
- O. Henry, Bexar Scrip No. 2692

Bexar Scrip No. 2692
Saturday February 8, 2020 1 PM
Texas Capitol Visitors Center
Special Guest Reader: Monica L. Ballard

01/08/2020

Here's the first #WhereIsItWedensday of 2020! Can you spot the Capitol Visitors Center in this photo of Austin taken from the UT Tower in January 1937?

Photo courtesy of Austin History Center

01/04/2020

Hitch a ride and come visit us this weekend! Take a free guided tour of the Texas State Capitol, explore the historic halls of the Texas Capitol Visitors Center, stroll the grounds of the Texas State Cemetery or check out the exhibits inside the Bullock Texas State History Museum! For more information about these historic sites, follow the link below!

https://tspb.texas.gov/

Photo courtesy of Austin History Center PICA 23420

01/02/2020

We're open for visitors! Bring the family out to any State Preservation Board property and explore Texas history! Catch a free guided tour of the Texas State Capitol, explore the exhibits of the historic Texas Capitol Visitors Center, stroll the grounds of the Texas State Cemetery or visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum! For information about hours of operation, follow the link below!

https://tspb.texas.gov/

01/01/2020

All State Preservation Board properties are closed for New Year's Day! All locations will be open with regular business hours tomorrow January 2nd. For more information, follow the link below.

https://tspb.texas.gov/

12/31/2019

All State Preservation Board properties are open for New Years Eve, however we will be closed on New Year's Day tomorrow! The historic sites of the Preservation Board will reopen Thursday January 2nd for visitors. From all of us here at the Capitol Visitors Center, we'd like to wish you a happy New Year!

12/30/2019

"The Father of Texas is no more; the first pioneer of the wilderness has departed." -Sam Houston

On this week in 1836, Stephen F. Austin passed away at his sister's plantation in Brazoria County. Originally, Austin was buried at Gulf Prairie Cemetery in Brazoria County, Texas. In 1910 Austin's body was re-interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. On this day in 1836, Stephen F. Austin, The Father of Texas, died at the untimely age of forty-three. To learn more about Stephen F. Austin's burial sites, click through the photos below.

12/29/2019

On this day in 1845, the United States Congress voted to annex Texas. The US Congress passed the Annexation Resolution in February 1845. Texas president Anson Jones called the Texas Congress to act on the resolution and a convention of elected delegates met on the Fourth of July. Both the Texas Congress and the convention voted for annexation, and a constitution was drawn up. The document was ratified by popular vote in October 1845 and accepted by the United States Congress on December 29, 1845.

12/28/2019

On this day in 1838, the Lone Star flag of the Republic of Texas was born in a bill. The flag was approved by the Third Congress of the Republic of Texas at the capitol in Houston on December 28th, 1838. To learn more about the creation of the Lone Star flag, click through the photos below!

12/27/2019

Happy 180th birthday to the City of Austin! On this day in 1839, the city of Austin was incorporated by the Republic of Texas.

Earlier in 1839, a 640-acre site fronting the Colorado River, nestled between Waller Creek on the east and Shoal Creek on the west was chosen as the site for tne new capital city. The plan was a grid, fourteen blocks square, bisected by Congress Avenue, and extending northward from the Colorado River to "Capitol Square." Temporary government buildings were erected to have the city ready for the Texas Congress when they relocated in November 1839.

12/26/2019

After our holiday break, all State Preservation board properties are open for visitors once again! Catch a free guided tour of the Texas State Capitol, explore the exhibits of the historic Texas Capitol Visitors Center, stroll the grounds of the Texas State Cemetery or visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum! For more information about operating hours of these sites, follow the link below!

https://tspb.texas.gov/

12/25/2019

The Capitol Visitors Center and Texas State Capitol are closed for the Christmas holiday. All State Preservation Board properties will reopen tomorrow for visitors. For more information about hours of operation, follow the link below. From the staff of the Capitol Visitors Center, we'd like to wish all our followers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

https://tspb.texas.gov/

12/24/2019

All Texas State Preservation Board properties, the Texas State Capitol, Capitol Visitors Center, Texas State Cemetery and Bullock Texas State History Museum are closed for the Christmas holiday. These historic sites will reopen on December 26th. To plan your visit to one of these iconic Texas sites, click on the link below!

https://tspb.texas.gov/

12/23/2019

This is our last #MansionMonday of the holiday season and this decade!!! Enjoy this night time shot of the Texas Governor's Mansion. From all of us here at the Texas State Preservation Board, we'd like to wish you a Happy Holidays!

12/22/2019

Time is running out to get you holiday shopping done. have you picked up this year's Texas State Capitol ornament? Stop by the Texas Capitol Gift Shop located inside the historic Texas Capitol Visitors Center to pick up yours today!

12/21/2019

Happy First Day of Winter y'all!

12/20/2019

Have you made it out to this year's Austin Trail of Lights? This weekend is the last weekend the trail will be open for the 2019 season but the famous Zilker Tree will remain open until January 1st. For more information, follow the link below.

http://www.austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree

12/19/2019

Austin has changed a lot in the 163 years since the Old Land Office was built. The elegant castle on the hill has always enjoyed a prime spot to view Austin's downtown holiday tree for decades. Before the modern tree was used, the city of Austin used live trees from West Texas. Enjoy this photo of one of these Texas trees from the past! #TBT #ThrowBackThursday

12/18/2019

Here's this week's #WhereIsItWedensday! Can you spot the Capitol Visitors Center in this aerial photo of Austin from 1959?

12/17/2019

We have a great #retro Holiday image to share for this week's #capinteriortuesdays post. This is another superb photograph from the Austin History Center, Austin Public Library collections that shows one of the many giant Christmas trees that were displayed in the rotunda of the Texas State Capitol. Here we see a Capitol worker placing an ornament (possibly the star!) on top of the tree in the 70s. Image Courtesy Austin History Center PICA11443

12/16/2019

For this week's #MansionMonday we're sharing a photo of the Christmas tree at the Texas Governor's Mansion. This year is the first year in a while that an artificial tree has been used inside the executive residence. Since there wasn't much time between Thanksgiving and the start of December the Friends of the Governor's Mansion were worried about keeping a real tree alive for so long. The tree was set up the week before Thanksgiving with help from staff at the State Preservation Board and decorated by the Friends of the Mansion. Stay posted with us for more photos of the Mansion throughout the holiday season!

12/15/2019

Come celebrate the holidays with us here at Capitol Square. Catch our holiday themed tour of the Texas State Capitol. Get your shopping done at the Texas Capitol Gift Shop located inside the historic Texas Capitol Visitors Center. Or explore the grounds of the Capitol with friends and family! For more information about the historic sites of the State Preservation Board, follow the link below.

https://tspb.texas.gov/

12/14/2019

Come on out to Capitol Square this weekend for some holiday fun! Catch our holiday themed tour of the Texas State Capitol,
or get your shopping done at the Texas Capitol Gift Shop located inside the historic Capitol Visitors Center. For more information about the historic sites of the State preservation Board, follow the link below!

https://tspb.texas.gov/

12/13/2019

All month long we're sharing photos of the holidays around the Texas State Capitol. Here's a set of photo's from a neighboring State Preservation Board property, the Texas Governor's Mansion. Pictured here is the grand staircase and the Conservatory. The theme for the conservatory is a Fiesta Christmas in celebration of the First Lady's San Antonio roots. Be sure and check back with us next week for more holiday photos of the Governor's Mansion!

12/12/2019

Ever wonder how the city of Austin sets up the city tree in front of the Texas State Capitol? Here's some photos we snapped in early December as the tree went up this year! #TBT

12/11/2019

We've got a special #WhereIsItWedensday this week! Can you spot the Capitol Visitors Center in this 1873 map of Austin? At this time the Visitors Center still served as the Texas General Land Office!

12/10/2019

For this week's #CapInteriorTuesday we're sharing photos of this year's holiday trees that were delivered last Tuesday! Be sure and stop by the Texas State Capitol this December to see this year's trees!

12/09/2019

For this week's #MansionMonday we're sharing photos of the holiday decorations at the Texas Governor's Mansion. Pictured here are the decorations in the Library and the Formal Dining Room. Check back with us next week for more photos of the Mansion decked out for the holidays!

12/08/2019

Be sure and stop by the Texas State Capitol this month for our Holiday Capitol Tour! This seasonal tour will run form December 1st-23rd. Tour times are listed below

Weekdays 11:45 & 1:45
Saturdays 11:00 & 1:00
Sundays 3:00

12/07/2019

December 7th, a day which will live in infamy. On this day in 1941, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appeared out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. During the attack, Texas native Doris Miller responded courageously to the assault. Both Pearl Harbor and Doris Miller are recognized on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol. To learn more about Doris Miller's bravery at Pearl Harbor, click through the photos below!

12/06/2019

Texas Capitol Gift Shop

Have you ever wondered how the Texas Capitol Ornament is made? Watch below to see the 2019 Lone Star Locomotive ornament come to life! The ornaments are carefully crafted and assembled by hand, right here in the USA by Beacon Design by ChemArt. Proceeds support Texas Capitol preservation and educational programs.

Order yours today by clicking here: https://www.texascapitolgiftshop.com/802019/2019-texas-capitol-ornament.html?fbclid=IwAR00FYEIZ9O_nirZvzXeBBjKKbaQQF4IdAcd9rKTtxNxuN7pE4euUnuQMEw

Have you ever wondered how the Texas Capitol Ornament is made? Watch below to see the 2019 Lone Star Locomotive ornament come to life! The ornaments are carefully crafted and assembled by hand, right here in the USA by Beacon Design by ChemArt. Proceeds support Texas Capitol preservation and educational programs. Order yours today by clicking here - https://www.texascapitolgiftshop.com/802019/2019-texas-capitol-ornament.html

Videos (show all)

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2016 Tuba Christmas at the Texas State Capitol
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Buckle Up Barbie demonstrates the importance of wearing your seatbelt, thanks to our friends from TxDOT!

Telephone

Address


112 E 11th St
Austin, TX
78701

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday 12pm - 5pm

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