The Texas State Capitol is the seat of government of the State of Texas, housing the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and the Governor of Texas. Designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed from 1882 to 1888 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker. A $75 million underground extension was added in 1993.
The Capitol is over 300 feet tall, making it a state capitol taller than the US Capitol in DC but by no means the only one (and by all measures a vast improvement over the first Texas Capitol [pictured below]). The building was ranked 92nd in the 2007 “America’s Favorite Architecture” poll commissioned by the American Institute of Architects.
As of March 2019, tours are free, leave from inside the South Foyer approximately every 30 to 45 minutes, and are available Monday through Friday 830 am to 430 pm, Saturdays 930 am to 330 pm and Sundays 12 noon to 330 pm, with the holiday exceptions of Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
The south entrance to the Capitol grounds is at 11th and Congress, and, while visitor parking is technically available at the southeast corner of the grounds, it fills up very quickly when the legislature is in session and your better bet is the underground parking at the Bullock Texas State History Museum (which is a great place to start your exploration of Texas’s past anyway).