Heritage, Volume 13, Number 2, Spring 1995 Page: 18
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Capitol Rededication Celebration, April 19-22, 1995
Texas State Capitol Gets A Facelift
Texas Capitol Preservation and Extension Project 73 ourists this summer head
ing to Austin and the State
A Capitol Building will be in
for a pleasant surprise. Lauded as "one
of the largest and most comprehensive
restorations of a capitol in the
country", the Capitol Preservation and
Extension Project is returning the
entire building to its original finishes,
walls, materials, and architectural design.
The Texas Capitol Restoration
Project began in response to a number
of significant concerns. The Capitol
was unsafe, overcrowded, and at risk
architecturally. A fire in 1983 came
dangerously close to destroying the
building when it traveled out of control
above the ceiling. The State Preservation
Board was created in 1983 to
"preserve, maintain, and restore the
Capitol, the General Land Office Building,
and their contents and grounds".
In 1988, a joint venture of Texas architects
was hired to produce plans for the
restoration of the Capitol, and an Interim
Master Plan was presented to the
Legislature in April 1989.
The Master Plan recommended
that current and projected space requirements
be met through new construction
to supplement space available
in the Capitol. Work on the
Capitol Extension, an underground
building on the north side of the Capitol,
began in May 1990 and was completed
on schedule in January 1993.
The Extension includes 615,000
square feet of space on four levels. The
building contains office space for 99 of
150 House members and 11 of 31
Senate members. It also contains committee
hearing rooms, an auditorium,
the Capitol dining room, a press area,
a bookstore, a loading dock, and additional
mechanical space. The lower
two levels provide 670 parking spaces.
Tunnels connect the Capitol Exten
sion to the Capitol and to four adjacent
state office buildings.
The exterior of the Capitol was in
desperate need of restoration. The
Capitol Exterior Preservation Project
began in June 1991. The entire exte
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 13, Number 2, Spring 1995, periodical, Spring 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45410/m1/18/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.