Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A capitol idea...

Yes, that is "capitol" with an "o." Capital spelled with an "a" refers to the actual seat of government in a country, state, etc. -- whereas capitol with an "o" refers to the BUILDING in which all the government drones reside and mill about aimlessly and typically do absolutely nothing of use to any of us. And this is where Rick and I went today -- to the capitol building here in the capital of Texas. We've been partaking in quite a bit of Austin culture lately, since the art class Rick is taking requires him to get out and observe said culture. As I posted a couple weeks ago, we visited the Ransom Center so he could write a paper on a photography exhibit... and now he has to write a paper on architecture. And one of the more architecturally interesting buildings in Austin is the state capitol building.

I've probably been to the capitol building at least a dozen times, but I always find it interesting. It's quite an historical building, and it IS rather full of architectural detail. But one of the things I've always found the most interesting about it is its size -- it is the largest state capitol building in the country (not, as some believe, the TALLEST -- but rather the largest in square footage). It was, however, required for years to be the tallest building in the city -- none of the buildings downtown were supposed to be higher than the capitol. Which made for a rather boring, sprawling downtown area. That law was finally changed, though, and recently there has been a building boom in Austin -- we're finally starting to get some decent high-rises, and eventually the skyline will have even more character than it already has.

A few pictures from today, in no particular order:


The seals of the six flags over Texas (yes, that's where the amusement park got its name) -- Spain, France, Mexico, Texas, the Confederate States, and the United States...


Outside on the capitol grounds at the Texas Peace Officers Memorial...


Standing beneath the rotunda looking up at the Texas star...


Chandelier in the House of Representatives -- the lights spell out "TEXAS"...


Another view of the rotunda...


The view from the entrance gate...


Closeup of the Goddess of Liberty at the top of the dome... she's looking a little grimy... I think someone needs to get up there with some steel wool or some Oxyclean or something...


House of Representatives...


Senate...


The door hinges won't let you forget where you are...


The view from the capitol steps down Congress Avenue (the view from Congress Ave to the capitol is much better... :))

5 comments:

Bulldog said...

I've been to the Capitol building quite a few times myself. The company I worked for was near 5th and Lavaca.

They have a nice display of cannons around the building, if I remember correctly.

City Grill, County Line Barbecue, Hut's Hambugers, Papacitos,etc., etc., Why is it I mostly remember the food and the bats?

Maybe the job wasn't that interesting?

G said...

Nice pics of the capitol.

Certainly looks a lot more vibrant than mine.

Lisa said...

Bulldog -- There ARE quite a few cannons on the grounds outside the capitol... I may have gotten a few pictures of those, as well. And yes, Austin has some great food, doesn't it? If I moved away, I know I would, at the very least, miss Amy's Ice Cream. :)

Thanks, G -- no matter how many times I go to the capitol building, I always think it's interesting... and it's a great place to take out-of-town visitors!

Jannie Funster said...

Super-Great pix of that!! Kelly and I venture there at least once a year and it never disappoints. We even eat at that cafeteria downstairs!

Did you feed the squirrels? They are so tame.

Hey, isn't it actually taller at the star's tip than the U.S. Capitol?

Lisa said...

Thanks Jannie! I don't think we saw any squirrels... we were probably too busy observing the "architecture" for Rick's paper. They were probably all over the place and I didn't even notice them... :)

And yes, I think our capitol is about 15 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol... maybe that's why they put the statue up there. :)