capitolFor many of us who have worked in the door and hardware industry for 2, 3, even 4 (or 5?) decades, there are projects that are a great source of pride; those are often the same projects that we’re just happy to have survived.  For me, a couple of projects that stand out are the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (post 1, post 2, post 3).  Maybe it was a coincidence, but these were two of the last specifications that I wrote before I cried “uncle” and dedicated my life to codes.  🙂

Texas State Capitol, Austin
Photo: Wikipedia

Last month I spent a few days in Austin, Texas, and I visited the Texas State Capitol building with Jody & Tony Boatman (Jody is an Allegion specwriter and Tony is the owner of Openings Solutions).  Of course I immediately noticed the amazing old hardware, but what I didn’t realize was that David Matney (Allegion specwriter) was intimately involved with the renovation of this building about 20 years ago.  When I checked in with David to find out more about the trials and tribulations of replicating historic hardware, he reminded me that there was an article in Doors & Hardware about the project.  I could tell from the first paragraph that David and I shared some of the same feelings when asked to work on these “special” projects…

“I became involved in my first major historic hardware restoration project almost under protest.  I had long subscribed to the conventional wisdom that this type of undertaking was more trouble than it was worth.  Then came the Texas Capitol Restoration.  How was I to turn down the opportunity to work on the single most important symbol of my beloved state?  The simple answer:  I could not.”

You can read the rest of David’s article here.

Here are some photos of the beautiful doors and hardware that I appreciated on my visit to the Capitol:

As we approached the building, I was surprised to see the hundreds of interior wood shutters on the windows.  Although these aren’t really door-related, the amount of maintenance required seems like it would be a bit daunting.

The main entrance doors have detailed push plates and knobs – gorgeous!


Check out this mortise lock!  And the strike!


I have to admire the craftsmanship, but the deep recess may make maneuvering a wheelchair difficult or impossible.


Interesting egress situations in the House and Senate chambers…


You don’t see transom hardware every day…


And lots of great applications for wide-throw hinges because of all of the wood trim:



Not hardware-related, but beautiful!


Do you have any summer vacation door photos to share?  Send them along!

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