History of the Bullock Museum
1995 - 1997
The Bullock Texas State History Museum is named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, who championed the preservation and exhibition of Texas history and worked to establish the museum. While lieutenant governor in 1995, Bullock began discussing the idea of a state history museum informally with state and local leaders after numerous visits to museums in other states. The State Preservation Board - for which he served as co-vice chairman - coordinated the planning effort for the new museum. The resulting plans were approved and funding was secured from the legislature in 1997. (Source: TheSTORYofTEXAS.com )
1998 - 2000
The design planning process started January 5, 1998. History professionals and museum leaders from around the state gathered during the planning stages of the museum to discuss issues relevant to its creation. The central theme of the museum was developed to tell the “Story of Texas” through an engaging and immersive visitor experience. As a non-collecting institution, the original artifacts were generously loaned by individuals and agencies from around the country.
The building siting and massing are orchestrated to form a gateway entrance to the Capitol complex and the building exterior expression takes its cues from the Texas Capitol. Inside the dome and rotunda element is the key focal point for the building, serving as the central interior orientation space and signaling the entrance from the plaza. (Source: Verner Johnson, Inc. ) On the plaza, there is six 50-foot flagpoles flying the six flags of Texas and the now iconic 35-foot bronze Texas Lone Star sculpture.
Excavation of the site started on November 16, 1998, and construction began on April 15, 1999, with Bob Bullock as the guest of honor at the groundbreaking ceremony. Bullock died on June 18, 1999, before the museum was completed.
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum had its grand opening celebration on April 28, 2001. The museum honors Bullock's vision with three floors of gallery space featuring original artifacts, a dynamic schedule of temporary exhibitions from around the world, two theaters, and a robust film and program schedule that celebrates Texas history and culture.