Completed in 1888, the Texas Capitol is an extraordinary example of late 19th century architecture and is widely recognized as one of the nation's most distinguished state capitols. The structural exterior walls are "sunset red" granite, quarried just 50 miles from the Capitol site. The foundation is limestone. Texas paid for the construction with land: some three million acres in the Texas Panhandle that would later become the famous XIT Ranch.
Wonderful views of the Capitol's dome from many vantage points throughout the Austin area are protected by state law. The Capitol anchors the northern downtown commercial district and has a sweeping view towards the Colorado River from its southern façade. The Capitol was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986 for its "significant contribution to American history."