Texas’s oldest surviving state office building still in use, the 1857 General Land Office stands on the capitol grounds in the southeast corner, making it a convenient spot to house the Capitol Complex Visitors Center. With its Norman/Germanic-medieval style, mock-crenellated towers, parapets, and faux stone walls made of scored stucco, the building looks oddly out of place in the heart of downtown—but that also makes it easy for visitors to find. An exhibit on the building’s first floor honors short-story writer O. Henry (see above), who worked as a draftsman here from 1887–1891 (and based two stories on his experiences). Also on the first floor are a gift shop selling Texas books and souvenirs, and a Texas Travel Center information desk. The second floor is home to engaging exhibits on other aspects of Texas history, including photographs tracing the evolution of the land office building. A stop here before touring the Capitol is highly recommended.
Capitol Complex Visitors Center
112 E. 11th St. (SE corner of capitol grounds), Austin, TX
Our Rating Hours Mon–Sat 9am–5pm; Sun noon–5pm. Prices Free admission Web site Capitol Complex Visitors Center
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.