- September 18, 2017

Only Austinites Know These 10 Crazy Facts About The Texas Capitol

You drive by the State Capitol Building every day on your way to work in downtown Austin, and you’ve admired it a million times while exploring Central Austin, but how much do you really know about Texas’ governmental seat?

If your honest answer is, “Not much,” then don’t worry — that’s where we come in. These 10 facts can’t replace an in-person tour of the Capitol and its grounds, but they’ll definitely help to bring you up to speed.

10. The Capitol’s design was selected through a national design competition

texas state capitol building elijah meyers architect national design competition contest blueprints plans 1881

Elijah E. Meyers’ original Capitol blueprints. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.


When state officials aimed to build a bigger and better Capitol building in 1881, they figured the best way to choose an architect was to hold a national design competition. Eight U.S. architects entered the contest, but in the end, Detroit-based Elijah E. Meyers came out on top with his “Renaissance Revival” design, which he modeled after the National Capitol and 15th century Italian architecture.