Thursday, September 11, 2008

Everything's Bigger In Texas! (Part 2)

Ready for the North side of the Texas Capitol?

Unassuming grounds, right?

Wait till you find out that under these grounds are 4 floors of the Capitol Extension carved from solid rock and built in 1993 to the tune of 667,000 square feet area. That's about 200-300 houses worth of space!!! Underneath. the. ground. Visitors are only allowed to 2 floors, so I guess there's some secrets going on in the other 2 floors...

So let's look at the same picture again, but this time with a fresh eyes and
with the picture annotated:
Let's take a closer look at those 3 places in the Capitol Extension - the Open-Air Rotunda, the Skylights and the Elevator Pavilion...

From the inside of the Capitol Extension, this is what it looks like.
And you can see the dome from one of the skylights.

In the Open-Air Rotunda, there are more stars...

From there, you can see the dome as well.

And yes, this is just an Elevator Pavilion!
The roof is similar to the roof of the main Texas Capitol.
And the railing also has the ubiquitous star of Texas.

And even the elevator doors has them, too!

And here we are... goofing around at the Elevator Pavilion

Anyway, I could put more in here but then I would be stealing the script of the Texas Capitol tour guides. :)

So let me share my impressions and what pleasantly surprised me about the Texas Capitol:
- Although the Capitol is big, it is not ostentatious. (True!)
- The thoughtful marriage of the classic Capitol and modern Extension architectures. There seems to be a beautiful balance achieved here.
- The very detailed treatment of spaces, furnishings and fixtures. With all the stars and symbols of Texas all over the place, it is still tastefully decorated (except for the ballrooms chambers... but I guess I never was really a fan of solid oak and walnut and velvet draperies.).
- The strategic framing of grand views all throughout.

This has been a long post, so let me end with a few more trivia about the Texas Capitol:
- It is the largest State Capitol building.
- It is 15 feet (or 5 meters) higher than the National Capitol in Washington DC

Things are really BIGGER in Texas!

Hope you enjoyed the trip! Let me know that you visited by leaving me a comment!


Tracy P. September 11, 2008 at 2:18 PM  

Wow! That underground complex is really cool--the skylights are so deceptive when you're inside!

Thanks for hanging out with me yesterday, Rela! You are great company. I was especially glad you poked around and found my anniversary video, because it made me go back and watch it again. I'm so amazingly blessed! Come back soon!

pracso September 11, 2008 at 9:38 PM  

looking forward to visiting the capitol and having my pictures taken there too... january 2009, perhaps?

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