The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum uses state-of-the-art exhibits and media to immerse visitors in the story of Texas. This building covers a whole city block and is within sight of the Texas State Capitol. It has become a “destination feature” of the Capitol Complex in Austin. The Texas Legislature directed the State Preservation Board (SPB) to oversee the design, construction and governance of The Texas State History Museum (later named for the late House Speaker Bob Bullock).
The project team was committed to making the Museum an economically viable, dynamic educational institution which will engage visitors in the exciting and unique history of Texas through various forms of media, interactive displays and immersion experiences, as well as traditional exhibits. The Museum’s facilities, exhibits and programs were designed to attract and serve a diverse audience that includes local and out-of-town visitors and tourists, including local educational institutions, family groups and touring school groups.
The main lobby is 8,000sf, expansive and spacious enough for receptions and special events. It is designed around the centerpiece of the Museum, a five-story open rotunda with an impressive dome and skylight. There is a spiral grand stairway from level one to level three, and the view from anywhere on the stairway or the open rail on level four includes a custom map of Texas and a campfire scene, all cast in colored terrazzo flooring below. The building is a 180,000sf four-story steel structure with pink granite exterior cladding and copper roof similar to the Texas State Capitol. The Museum features a 400-seat IMAX Theater; a 200-seat storytelling theater; 34,000sf of permanent exhibit space; 7,000sf of temporary exhibit space; 18,000sf of future exhibit space which will be finished out as needed; a 3,000sf Museum Store; 200-seat indoor/outdoor Café; and educational classrooms. The top floor contains the Museum administrative offices and the SPB administrative offices and boardroom.