As with most state capital buildings, the one in Austin (completed in 1888) is home to the office of the Governor and the Texas legislature. The current building is actually the third state capital structure; the first (1836) was in Columbia, Texas and was not much more than a single house. Three months later it was moved to a temporary location in Houston; the second capital building, constructed in 1853, was destroyed in a great fire during 1881; the current building was funded by the largest barter transaction in recorded history - the Falwell brothers became the builders of the new capital in exchange for three million acres of public land in the Texas Pan Handle. The brothers eventually turned this land into the largest cattle ranch in the world (know as the XIT). Once completed, the building was opened to the public on April 21, 1888 ( San Jacinto Day commemorating the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution). Standing at a height of 302 feet and constructed largely by convicts and migrant workers, the current building is the sixth tallest state capital in the United States. In 1970, the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and in 1986, designated a National Historic Landmark.
Twenty-four blue glass windows were installed around the skylight structure in 1888. Only six of the original windows remain, with the rest being exact replicas (made in 1995).
On the floor beneath the rotunda, is the Texas State Seal which includes the coats of arms depicting the sequential history of the state (i.e. Spain, France, Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and the United States).