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Austin, TX is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. right now, and for good reason. This little big town is steeped in culture, is overflowing with jobs, and offers a vibrant food and nightlife scene. Another attractive quality of Austin is its unique architecture. The city’s architectural gems can be traced all the way back to the Texas State Capitol, but no-one can argue that the skyline has changed quite a bit since 1885.  

Its architectural aesthetic is a mix of work and play, with public buildings designed to serve the city’s role as both state capital and exciting college town, and residential buildings built and sold by developers and real estate agents to the newcomers drawn in by the city’s unique character and growing popularity. Let’s take a look at 5 must-see pieces of architecture in the Austin skyline.

Austin Public Central Library

By library.austintexas.gov

Having opened in late 2017, the Austin Public Central Library is the newest addition to Austin’s lineup of architectural goodness. This 198,000-square-foot, multi-angled structure is made up of vast windows and interior surfaces which transmit huge volumes of natural light, but don’t worry, all sprawling six floors of the library are protected from heat and glare by perforated metal sunscreens.

Be sure not to miss the rooftop garden on the 6th floor.

The Paramount Theatre

Moving from the new to the old, Congress Avenue’s 100-year-old theatre, The Paramount Theatre, is one of the most beautiful buildings Austin has to offer. Its brick exterior, giant marquee, and welcoming entrance stretch alongside much of Congress Avenue’s downtown strip. The theatre’s interior is filled with intricate murals and carvings which are a can’t-miss. The Paramount serves as a venue for concerts, comedy shows, and, during Austin’s many TV and film festivals, a venue for world-premieres and screenings.

The Long Center for the Performing Arts

By thelongcenter.org

Looking out over Lady Bird Lake, The Long Center for the Performing Arts serves as the home of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera, and Ballet Austin. After 10 years of construction, The Long Center replaced the Palmer Auditorium and reused 95 percent of Palmer’s building materials. The Long Center’s terrace hosts outdoor festivals of all kind and provides an amazing view of Austin’s downtown skyline.

The Frost Bank Tower

The Frost Bank Tower was famously the first skyscraper to begin construction in downtown Austin after Sept. 11. This uniquely-designed building, which is most well-known by Austinites and tourists alike for resembling an owl, has a blue-glass tint and its top is usually lit up with different colors on special occasions. The Frost Bank Tower is Austin’s Frost National Bank HQ, a national bank based in nearby San Antonio.

Texas State Capitol

By Texas.gov

Okay, so this one’s an oldie, but it’s definitely still a goodie. The Texas State Capitol, in all her pink-hued glory, is built with limestone from Oak Hill and sunset-red granite from Marble Falls. The Renaissance-revival building has unique features like the rotunda’s “whispering gallery” effect. Luckily, Austin’s growth does not hinder one’s view of this gem. Texas state law protects Capitol-view corridors from 30 vantage points in Austin, ensuring that it remains a main feature of the city.


About the author: Krista is a Content Marketing Specialist at Aceable. She loves using her passion for writing and tracking marketing trends to help real estate agents learn the necessary skills to succeed in their careers.

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5 Must-See Pieces of Architecture in the Austin Skyline
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