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    State CapitolState Capitol Austin, Texas
    The Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas is the fourth such structure to house the legislature and the governor, designed by Elijah E. Myers in 1881 and built during the years of 1882 to 1888, with a $75 million underground extension finished in 1993, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and made a National Historic Landmark during 1986. It rises 308 feet into the Austin sky. The construction of the Italian renaissance revival style building would be funded by one of the biggest barter transactions of recorded history, with the builders of the capitol building being paid more than 3 million acres of public lands in the Panhandle region of the state that would eventually become the biggest cattle ranch in the world, the XIT Ranch. A fire occurred in 1983 that killed one person and sent four firemen and a police officer to the hospital, with severe damage to the east wing and compromised a lot of the framing. Restoration wouldn't be completed until 1993, to a state that had existed in 1915, with many changes to the mechanical and structural systems bringing them up to modern code. While that renovation took place, the state looked at the growing lack of space in the capitol and decided that a new wing would be the best fix, but because of historical and aesthetic concerns, it was decided to locate the additional space in a four story underground structure that was also completed by 1993. This expansion houses 667,000 square feet of space, more than double the original space, without any changes to the looks of the building's exterior. There are big skylights and three story atriums throughout the building and a rotunda-like structure that is exposed to the sky, so that the interior is lit up quite well and very airy. The rotunda showcases portraits of every person who served as president of the Republic of Texas or governor, with the south foyer featuring sculptures of Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin that were created by Elisabeth Ney. This rotunda also has a whispering gallery, with more floor space than any other capitol in the nation, sitting on 2.25 acres, with almost 400 rooms and over 900 windows. Their granite monument of the Ten Commandments that had sat on the grounds had been the topic of a 2005 Supreme Court case, Van Orden v. Perry, where the monument was challenged as unconstitutional; but the court ruled that it was in fact, NOT unconstitutional and bravo for them, since this nation would not be where it is today if not for the belief in God and his benevolence.

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    Blanton Museum of ArtBlanton Museum of Art Austin, Texas
    The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin enhances and enriches the lives of learners from all walks and ages by offering them inspiring and relevant experiences with outstanding original works of art and would begin in 1927 with a generous gift from Archer M. Huntington, a New Yorker and son of railroad mogul, Collis P. Huntington, who donated four thousand acres of land in Galveston to the university with the explicit instructions that it would "be dedicated to the support of an art museum". Archer's interest is believed to have stemmed from the fact that his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, who was a well known sculptor, who had two of her works recently given to the university. The sale of the land would then create an endowment for museum operations and part of the cost of construction of a new building for the university's art department, with some gallery space that would be called the University Art Museum. The collections would take shape during the 1960s and 1970s, with one outstanding acquisition that started in 1968 and would continue until the 1990s that included four hundred 20th century American paintings from novelist James Michener and his wife, Mari, for whom the new gallery is named for. Over the years, this collection would grow and expand to include other areas of art, with many generous gifts helping to increase the size and fame of the collections, with a dramatic turn occurring in 1998, with the significant acquisition of the Suida-Manning collection that had become possible because of two generations of art historians, and is one of the country's top collections of baroque and renaissance artworks that feature 230 paintings and 400 drawings by many prominent painters and draftsmen. It seemed as if overnight their old masters collection would grow from 30 paintings to one of the best in the nation, with outstanding increases in the American and Latin American collections.

April 26, 2011