Downtown Austin is rare, quirky and unique. It is the perfect combination of vintage architecture and modern kitsch, western history and advanced technology. Known as the Live-Music Capital of the World, Austin’s downtown area has a wide range of attractions to choose from and places to visit.
One of the most impressive buildings located downtown is the Texas Capitol. Built in 1856-57, it is the oldest state office building in Texas. Featuring an Italian Renaissance Revival style, the Capitol was designed by Elijah E. Meyers and constructed from limestone and red granite. The Capitol is open to visitors seven days a week, and has free admission. To learn more about the business hours and tour times check out their site here.
Located across the street is a registered national landmark, the Old Bakery and Emporium. I wondered into this historical little building looking for some fresh bread but instead I found a quaint little boutique and visitor’s center. The building itself was built in 1876 and remained a bakery until 1936. Currently, the building operates as a consignment shop, a visitor’s center, a museum, and an art gallery (alas, no bakery). To learn more about the Old Bakery and Emporium’s mission and history, visit their site here.
About a block away lives The Paramount Theater. Built in 1915, The Paramount is Austin’s oldest surviving theater. Originally created as a Vaudeville and variety house, The Paramount now offers a large array of shows including music, films, spoken word, dance, and children’s programming. In addition, The Paramount is used for Austin’s red carpet film premieres, SXSW (South by Southwest), and the Austin Film Festival. The Paramount currently operates along the Slate Theater under The Austin Theater Alliance.