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Goldsmith Hall Courtyard
Goldsmith Hall Courtyard | © Guðsþegn / WikiCommons
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An Architectural Tour of The University of Texas

Picture of Jessica Devenyns
Updated: 5 April 2018
Founded in 1881 and considered a public Ivy League school, the University of Texas is filled with history and curiosities. Although modern in its educational efforts, due to its age, the architecture that has popped up throughout its campus is as varied as it is beautiful. Some of the best pieces are not, however, the most well-known. So, to bring the university’s architectural gems to light, we’re going to take you on a brief tour of one of Austin’s architectural gold mines which you can complete simply by scrolling your mouse.

Blanton Museum of Art

Located at the prestigious University of Texas at Austin, the museum is one of the most prominent university art museums in the United States. The art museum was founded in 1963 and consists of two building complexes filled with modern and contemporary art, Latin American art, prints and drawings from Europe and much more.

The museum’s architecture itself is visually appealing, but although impressive from the outside, inside it holds the largest public collection in Central Texas. In 2012, it was voted by the readers of the Austin Chronicle as the best museum in Austin. Tours of the collections are available to those who want one. Make sure to check the website for specific times. You can also check the website for new or upcoming exhibitions.

Cost: $9 adults, $5 students, children under 12 free.

200 East Martin Luther King Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

Blanton Museum of Art
Blanton Museum of Art | © Ethan Lundgaard / Flickr

Architecture and Planning Library

Nestled inside Battle Hall is the Architecture and Planning Library, a nationally recognized architectural research center on campus. It is considered one of the University of Texas Libraries’ collections of distinction. It contains over 20,000 volumes of rare, unique and contextually significant publications. However, besides its contents, the library is noteworthy for its grandiose appearance. To access the library, you walk up a spiral staircase before you suddenly appear in an airy reading room with wood rafter beams crisscrossing the ceilings to buttress the walls. Lit mostly by natural light, the deep mahogany of the wooden decorative access gleams in a wise way that makes you feel instantly welcome. At Christmas, the place is decked out so that you feel like you’ve just walked into Hogwarts.

Battle Hall, 302 Inner Campus Drive #200, Austin, TX 78712

University of Texas Architectural and Planning Library
University of Texas Architectural and Planning Library | © Jr1038 / WikiCommons

Littlefield Fountain

Right smack in front of the iconic UT tower is the Littlefield Fountain. This World War I memorial is a monument designed by Italian-born sculptor Pompeo Coppini. The fountain has been in operation since 1933 and was named after the university regent and benefactor George W. Littlefield, whose donation paid for its design and construction. Expect to see students sticking their feet in on hot summer days and many graduation photos being taken in front of this picturesque piece. Also, if they accidentally leave the fountain on during a frozen winter evening, the result is a beautiful formation of ice crystals that you won’t want to miss.

The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin | © 撮影 / WikiCommons

Harry Ransom Center

The Harry Ransom Center is an archive, library and museum that specializes in literary and cultural artifacts from the United States and Europe. Used by students and the public alike, the Ransom Center houses 36 million literary manuscripts, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs and more than 100,000 works of art, including the very first photograph ever taken and a Gutenberg Bible. The exterior of the building is an impressive fortress that hints at a well-kept secret between the walls.

300 W 21st St, Austin, TX 78712

Harry Ransom Center
Harry Ransom Center | © Larry D. Moore / WikiCommons

Goldsmith Hall Courtyard

Goldsmith Hall serves as one of the primary buildings for students in the School of Architecture. The building itself is noteworthy in its own right, but tucked away on the backside is a little, balanced courtyard that is reminiscent of Neoclassical architecture. With stone paths that are corralled by palm trees planted equidistant from one another, you can’t help but get the feeling that each step is taking you closer to what will be your grand entrance.

399 W 22nd St, Austin, TX 78705

Goldsmith Hall Courtyard | © Guðsþegn / WikiCommons

Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium

Since it opened in 1924, the University of Texas football stadium has been expanded several times. Today it can hold 100,000 people, although in 2016 it set a record by hosting 102,315 spectators for the UT–Notre Dame game. Beyond being an impressive stadium, it is worth noting that outside of the playing field, the stadium is known for a state-of-the-art gym for athletes and is continuously filled with students since, when it’s not game day, the facility functions as just another place to hold classes.

405 East 23rd Street, Austin, Texas 78712

Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium
Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium | © Brint03 / WikiCommons

The UT Tower

Upon winning independence from Mexico, the Constitution of the Republic of Texas contains the earliest recorded statement of intent to create a public university. Established almost 40 years later in 1883, the University of Texas is now one of the world’s premier universities, with 18 of its research disciplines ranking in the top 10 worldwide. The campus houses seven museums and 17 libraries with over nine million volumes, making it the seventh largest academic library in the U.S. One of the main architectural attractions on campus is the 307-foot (94 m) Main Tower, designed by Paul Philippe Crete and completed in 1937. At the top of the Tower is the state’s largest carillon, which contains 56 bells that chime daily.

Main Building, 110 Inner Campus Drive, Austin, Texas, +1 512 471-3434

University of Texas
University of Texas | © Larry D. Moore/WikiCommons