Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987 Page: 24
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Restoration of the State Capitol
by Bonnie Campbell
The senators and representatives of Texas on the occasion of the address of Senator Joseph W. Bailey
on January 23, 1907. Original wooden shutters can be seen being used in the House Chamber as a
window treatment. The Capitol restoration focuses on the Victorian period.
/ tch your breath after all of the
last year, because next year we will be celebrating
the centennial of the State
On May 18, 1888, the building was
dedicated in grand style, complete with
festivities, speeches, and grand balls in
the legislative chambers and State Library.
Senator Temple Houston declared
with fervor and pride the Capitol to
be "the noblest edifice upon this hemisphere
. . . (which) will speak for their
[the builders'] skill thousands of years
after we have ceased to speak."
The Capitol's centennial will be celebrated
in no less grand a style. And for
good reason, because it is a building
deserving of celebration. The Capitol
received an early birthday present this
summer from the U.S. Secretary of the
Interior: it is now a National Historic
Landmark, joining the ranks of some of
the country's most important architectural
and historical monuments.
Despite constant repairs and remodelings
over the years, the basic integrity and
beauty of the building has survived. And,
thanks to legislation prompted in great
part by the 1983 Senate fire which threatened
the structure, the Capitol will be
undergoing a major restoration over the
next several years to return it to its original
late nineteenth century magnificence.
The State Preservation Board and its
staff, the Office of the Architect of the
Capitol, are charged with planning and
overseeing the restoration, preservation,
and maintenance of the building and
grounds (as well as the Old General Land
Office Building). Architect of the Capitol
Roy Eugene Graham, AIA, heads the
project. He came to the Capitol after
serving for nine years as resident architect
of Colonial Williamsburg, a shining example
of preservation. Graham's staff includes
myself as curator of the Capitol, a
Capitol historian, an assistant architect,
and support personnel.
A three-phase master plan for the restoration
of the Capitol is currently underway,
with present work focusing on phase
one, research and documentation. Capitol
historian Dr. Bill Green has uncovered
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987, periodical, Spring 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45438/m1/24/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.