She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’s got a weird-looking face.
Meet the Goddess of Liberty, the statue that adorns the top of the Texas Capitol building. Designed by architect Elijah E. Myers in 1881, the goddess has an interesting history. So why does she look like that? Let us fill you in on her aesthetics, plus a few more fun facts.
- Liberty’s looks are based on the likenesses of the Statue of Liberty, the ancient Greek Pallas Athena, and the Statue of Freedom on the National Capitol.
- She stands nearly 16 feet tall and was erected atop the dome in 1888.
The statue on the Capitol is a replica — the goddess was removed and replaced with a lighter, more durable material in the 1980s after standing for just under 100 years. You can watch footage of the statue being replaced — via “Skycrane” helicopter — in 1986.
- The original statue has lived in the Bullock Texas State History museum for the last ~35 years.
- In 1994, preservationists discovered a time capsule in the star of the goddess. Inside, they found newspapers, calling cards, and a broadside.
- The original hand and star were kept separately as an artifact, and are now on display in the Capitol Visitors Center.
- Liberty’s features are a little... exaggerated, but it’s on purpose. If they were more typically proportional, she would look much smaller to onlookers on the ground. Think of it as stage makeup.
Your can read a complete timeline of the goddess’ history here.