Austin is home to some of the most beautiful buildings the state of Texas has to offer. Lovers of architecture can find plenty to pique their interest with these seven magnificent landmarks.
Frost Bank Tower
One of Austin’s most well-known and beautiful buildings. Standing 515 feet tall with 33 floors, it is now the third-tallest building in Austin. The tower, designed by Duda/Paine Architects, is primarily constructed out of blue low-e glass skin, one of only two buildings in the world made out of such material.
It’s often said that when looked from the right angle the building resembles an owl: the inspiration of the original architects.
Lyndon B Johnson Library
LBJ’s Presidential Library is one of the most popular sights in Austin, providing a look into the life and work of the 36th President, who was born and raised in Texas. The library has something to offer everyone, whether you are a casual tourist or an avid presidential history buff.
The building itself is a testament to the modern artistic sensibility of its time and still seems quite modern even by today’s standards. This is partly due to the major redesign that it underwent in 2012. Sporting a monolithic stone structure, the original building was designed by Gordon Bunshaft and was subsequently redesigned by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill.
Laguna Gloria is one of many fine museums in Austin, dedicated to modern paintings. The museum sports a unique form of exhibition, blending a mixture of indoor and outdoor exhibition space.
Located in a lakeside villa built in 1916, the site now boasts the fantastic Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park and adjacent Mayfield Park. Laguna Gloria is a perfect destination for an stylish and educational outing.
For many decades, UT tower was the biggest and the most notable building in the city, but has since been surpassed by many taller corporate buildings. It was designed by Paul Philippe Cret, a well-known French architect who designed the Beaux Arts plan for the University’s central campus. It was completed in 1937.
The tower is constructed entirely out of limestone, save for its doorframes which are made from marble sourced in West Texas.
The Capitol Building
Austin’s state Capitol is the tallest capitol building in the United States, standing higher than even the nation’s own capitol building. It was opened in 1888, built in the traditional neo-renaissance style that many governmental buildings are fashioned after. One of Austin’s most frequented attractions, it is perfect for a guided visit.
The building is made of local granite, sourced from the Granite Mountain nearby. It gives off a striking pinkish hue that’s most noticeable when the building is illuminated by a strong Texas light.
The Driskill Hotel
This striking building is a piece of Texas history on its own. It was originally built for a cattle baron in 1886 and the owners eventually lost the property in a card game. For decades it was the most beautiful hotel in the city: a place where local politicians and socialites would gather.
You can still have a drink in its bar and enjoy the beautiful lobby. The building is kept in perfect condition after all this years and visiting is like stepping back in time.
It’s not that common to include buildings such as courthouses on these lists, since many are austere and mundane in appearance. However, this one is notably different. The contemporary limestone building has received numerous awards and has become a notable Austin landmark. Designed by Atlanta-based architects Mack Scogin Merrill Elam and Austin firm Page and opened in 2012, it seems to have become the city “living room” they intended it to be.
Which Austin’s building would you add to our list and why?