The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 499
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Notes and Documents
the Exchange at Saragossa in Spain, is regarded by many as the
University's most beautiful building. Massive in construction, its
walls faced with limestone resting on a granite base, it is just in
its proportions, rich in its ornamentation, harmonious in its col-
oring. The commanding feature is the immense arched windows
of the Reading Room, rising above wrought iron balconies
through two stories and crowned with a broad and richly deco-
rated cornice. Around the windows runs a border of colored
terra cotta carrying a rich design of plants and mythological
heads. Above this border are the signs of the zodiac, beautifully
rendered in white on blue terra cotta, beginning at the south-
east corner-Aries (Ram), Taurus (Bull), Gemini (Twins), Can-
cer (Crab), Leo (Lion), Virgo (Virgin), Libra (Balance), Scor-
pio (Scorpion), Sagittarius (Archer), Capricornus (Goat),
Aquarius (Water Carrier), and Pisces (Fishes). The first story
windows have wrought-iron balustrades, the east door is flanked
by wrought-iron lanterns. Still more noteworthy is the relief dec-
oration of the stone frame of the east door.
The building has a basement and three stories. In the east sec-
tion, the basement is devoted to storage and building services, the
first floor to handsomely equipped offices, the second and third
together to a magnificent Reading Room named after Governor
James Stephen Hogg, who like his sons and daughter was a great
friend of the University.
The first floor corridor is lined with a high marble wainscot;
on its walls are a fine portrait of Dr. Barker by Robert Joy and
a case of relics of James Harper Starr, a famous doctor of the
days of the Republic. A beautiful marble stairway with a wrought-
iron balustrade leads to the second floor. There are the Loan
Desk, the Research Study, and the Hogg Memorial Reading
Rooms. On the Loan Desk is a miniature marble relief of Hogg.
In the Research Study back of the Loan Desk are oil portraits of
Dr. Ashbel Smith by S. Salomon and Governor Hogg by Robert
Joy and a beautiful medallion of Mrs. Helen Marr Kirby by
Elisabet Ney, done in 1904.
The James Stephen Hogg Reading Room is one of the hand-
somest rooms in Texas. The ceiling of the room is carried by col-
ored beams of rich design from which hang beautiful light fix-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/527/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.