Austin TX

Trip Start Jan 09, 2009
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45
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Trip End Jun 01, 2009


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Where I stayed
Lockhart State Park

Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, February 22, 2009

Today Don and I headed into Austin, the state capital for a look-see.  The state capitol, our first stop, was built from Sunset Red Texas Granite and when built was the 7th largest building in the world.  It is higher than the US Capitol in Washington.  It is a beautiful building.  It seemed to be 'scout and guide' day as they were everywhere and another group of students were participating in a mock sitting of the legislature.  Even so, we enjoyed our tour of the building and checked out the portraits of all the former governors - right to the fourth floor.  Each time a new governor is appointed, his painting is placed on the wall near the entrance on the first floor and the former governor is moved one space to the left.  When the circuit of the first floor is completed, the painting is moved to the second floor and the process is repeated to the fourth level of the rotunda.  I'm not sure what they will do when all the alcoves are full but that will be a problem for a future generation.

The next stop was the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.  This is a new building with excellent exhibits and today it was a very busy place.  A new exhibit featuring the story of emigration through Galveston just opened and a series of Texas musical groups representing the various cultures in the evolution of the state as noted with the six flags of Texas - Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, Texas in the Confederacy and Texas in the United States were providing music in the main concourse.  We opted to enjoy the music for a while after having lunch rather than exploring the exhibits.

The last stop was at the University of Texas to view the famous University tower and fountain.  The LB Johnson library and other sites will have to wait for another time.  Austin is a beautiful city with parkland along the Colorado River.

On the way back to the park we decided to check out the town of Lockhart and were intriqued with the architecture on the main street.  The Caldwell County Court Building is a facinating building, while the number and size of the buildings lining the town square (the court building is in the center), suggest that there has been a lot of wealth in this area at some time.  Many of the buildings are empty, at least above street level, but the town is obviously making an effort to preserve its heritage.  The churches and library were equally interesting, ornate buildings suggesting an eastern European influence among the early settlers.  The boomtown storefronts were made of brick and for the most part were two or more stories high, unlike those is some towns we have visited. 
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