Texas State Building Commission:
An Inventory of Records on Monuments at the Texas State Archives, 1955-1963
The Texas State Building Commission was created by an amendment to the Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 51-b, approved by the voters in 1954 and enacted by the 54th Legislature in Senate Bill 134. The commission was composed of the Governor, Attorney General, and Chairman of the Board of Control. Its purpose was to arrange for the acquisition of all state building sites, to plan and construct all new state buildings, and to modernize and remodel old state buildings. The constitutional amendment creating the commission created a state building fund by transferring all money from the Confederate Pension Fund except that needed to pay Confederate pensions. The building fund was also supported by a state ad valorem tax. From 1955 to 1965, the commission was engaged primarily in the acquisition of land in Austin around the Capitol area and the supervision of state building construction as envisioned in the Capitol Area Master Plan. In 1965, the 59th Legislature enacted the State Building Construction Administration Act, giving the Commission broader responsibility in the acquisition of building sites and planning, design, and construction of state buildings. The Commission supervised state planning and inspection for building projects for all state agencies except the Highway Department, institutions of higher learning, the Board of Corrections, the Texas Youth Council, and the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. In 1970, the commission was assigned the additional duty of ensuring access for the handicapped to public buildings.
The 65th Legislature proposed the abolishment of the Building Commission in Senate Bill 759 and in 1978 voters repealed the constitutional amendment that created the commission. The powers and duties of the commission were taken over by the Board of Control, which was renamed the State Purchasing and General Services Commission in 1979.
Types of records include correspondence, accounting forms, vouchers, construction specifications, blueprints, drawings, photographs, and a contract from the Texas State Building Commission. Records date from 1955 to 1963 and concern almost exclusively the design, construction, and dedication of the Texas State Memorial at the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi. This memorial was to honor the participation of Texas and Texas Confederates in the 1863 Civil War battle at Vicksburg. Correspondents with the Building Commission include the Texas Memorial's sculptor, architect, engineering firm, and granite supply company as well as the U.S. Department of the Interior and the superintendent of the Vicksburg National Military Park. Topics include the design, cost, construction, installation, dedication, and repair of the memorial. Records not related to the Vicksburg monument consist of specifications sent out by the Building Commission for 26 gravestone memorials in Texas in 1957 and 29 monuments in the State Cemetery in 1962.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
Researchers are required to wear gloves provided by the Archives when reviewing photographic materials.
(Identify the item), Records on monuments, Texas State Building Commission. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1993/096
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Historical Commission on December 8, 1992.
Paul Beck, November 1994
Detailed Description of the Records