Heritage, Volume 13, Number 2, Spring 1995 Page: 19
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"The architecture of a civilization is its most endearing feature, and by this
structure shall Texas transmit herself to posterity, for here science has done her
utmost. All that enlightenment and art could do has been done.
"It would seem that here glitters a structure that shall stand as a sentinel of
eternity, to gaze upon passing ages, and surviving, shall mourn as each separate star
Senator Temple Houston, Capitol Dedication Address, May 16, 1888
rior of the Capitol was scaffolded in order
to repair and preserve the metal dome and
roof, clean the granite and replace the
mortar in the joints, repair and preserve the
windows, return lost architectural detailing,
and stabilize the entire exterior of the
building. The exterior work was completed
in early 1994.
The Capitol Interior Preservation
Project began in August 1992. Restoration
of the interior focused on the period 1888,
when the construction of the building was
completed, to 1915, when major remodeling
of the building began. All non-original
walls, mezzanines, and lowered ceilings were
demolished; asbestos and lead paint was
removed; and original openings and finishes
were restored. Entirely new mechanical,
plumbing, electrical, data, and fire protection
systems were installed. The Capitol
was closed for construction in August of
1993, and the North, South, and East wings
of the building were reopened to the public
on October 15, 1994. The entire Capitol
was open and ready for use on January 10,
1995, when the Legislative session began.
The Master Plan identified "Significant
Spaces" within the Capitol for their
historical and architectural importance to
the building. These areas are being refurnished
with original Capitol furnishings
and reproductions, as well as with appropriate
reproduction or period lighting, window
treatments, and floor coverings.
Through the use of the original bid documents,
as well as historic photographs and
reference materials from the period, the
Capitol curator and her staff have been
able to recreate the interiors in remarkable
The 1856-57 General Land Office Building,
the oldest surviving state office building
in Texas, has also been restored. Located
on the southeast corner of the Capitol
grounds, the building now houses the
Capitol Complex Visitors Center. The
Visitors Center, which opened in April
1994, offers changing exhibitions on the
history of the Capitol Complex, an educational
video presentation, and a gift shop
that features a variety of educational items
and Texas-made products.
The Legislature appropriated $187 million
to build the Capitol Extension, restore
the Capitol, and restore the General Land
Office Building. An additional $5,000,000
in private funds is being raised through the
Capitol Fund Drive for educational programming
and the re-creation of the inte
riors of the Significant Spaces. The startup
cost of the new Capitol Complex Visitors
Center was also funded with private
donations. Donations are still being accepted.
A Capitol Rededication Celebration is
scheduled for April 22, 1995, to celebrate
the restoration of the Capitol and honor its
place in Texas history. Entertainment events
and a rededication ceremony are planned.
Submitted by the State Preservation Board
HERITAGE * SPRING 1995 19
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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/m1/19/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.