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Second Most Beautiful State Capitol Building: Austin, Texas

Fall 2015-16 UM Enrollment for U.S. by U.S. State
Fall 2015-16 UM Enrollment for U.S. by U.S. State

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s no secret that the University of Mississippi has a diverse population of students from across the United States and around the world. In fact, there are students from every state in the nation, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico comprising the total of 20,827 (U.S. students) on the Oxford and regional campuses including UMMC, according to University of Mississippi Institutional Research. Mississippi holds the largest share (58.11 percent), but the remaining states share the other almost 42 percent. There are 1,311 Ole Miss students from Texas (6.58 percent).

By LoneStarMike - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9909150
By LoneStarMikeOwn work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9909150

As our countdown winds down, the second most beautiful State Capitol building in our nation among the states is also the largest state Capitol among the the “50” comprising 360,000 square feet and 2.25 acres. It showcases 400 rooms and 900 windows. The grounds cover another 22 acres.

Designed in 1881 and constructed between 1882 and 1888, the Capitol also includes a $75 million underground extension that was completed in 1993. An intense fire resulting on February 6, 1983 came close to destroying the entire structure, but fortunately was contained by heroic firefighters. In 1970 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 1986 it was recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

The State Capitol in Austin is the fourth building to serve as the Capitol with the cornerstone being laid March 2, 1885 which is Texas Independence Day. The building was constructed largely
by convicts and migrant workers with as many as 1,000 at a given time involved in the process. Possibly the greatest barter transaction in U.S. history occurred when the builders of the Capitol were given three million acres of public lands in the Panhandle region to construct the Capitol. This land later became the largest cattle ranch worldwide, the XIT Ranch.

The architectural style is Italian Renaissance Revival. The Capitol is 308 feet tall, making it the sixth tallest among the states and one of several taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Oak Hill limestone and Sunset red granite are the two primary construction materials. The Capitol grounds lie just four blocks south of the University of Texas at Austin.

History abounds at the Capitol and its grounds as the Capitol’s rotunda features portraits of every person who has served as President of the Republic of Texas and Governor of the state. The south foyer features a large portrait of David Crockett and another of the surrender of General Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Sculptures of Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin, made by Elisabeth Ney, are also highlighted.

And located on the grounds, the four oldest monuments commemorate the Heroes of the Alamo, Volunteer Firemen, Confederate Soldiers and Terry’s Texas Rangers. And there is also a granite monument of The Ten Commandments.

Stay tuned to HottyToddy.com next week to find out which state has the most beautiful Capitol in the country. You might be quite surprised!

(Special recognition to Wikipedia for providing the historical references.)

Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

Follow HottyToddy.com on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @hottytoddynews. Like its Facebook page: If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss…

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