The Main Building of The University of Texas at Austin is a Mediterranean-influenced Beaux-Arts style structure at the center of the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas designed by architect PAUL PHILIPPE CRET. The tower houses the university’s administrative offices. The Main Building’s 307-foot (93 metre) tower, often referred to as “The Tower”, has 27-floors and is one of the most recognizable symbols of the University. These two beautiful libraries now make up the UT President’s office suite and are largely decorated by Peter Mansbebndel’s woodcarvings.
The room south of the Exhibition Room once housed the Wren Library, a collection of six thousand rare books. This room was first installed in the old library building (Battle Hall) and later the entire room and the books were transferred to the fourth floor of the new Main Building. The woodwork is walnut; the metal work of wrought iron and the light bowls are of alabaster. The woodcarving above the door was carved by Peter Mansbendel, a prominent Swiss woodcarver that lived in Austin. The wood ceiling is painted with three groups of designs illustrating the development of printing, the history of dress, and the coat of arms of famous universities. The stained glass windows depict the coat of arms of English Colleges.
Miriam Lutcher Stark Library
The Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, given to The University of Texas beginning in 1925, was formed by Mrs. Stark of Orange, Texas. A portion of it is still housed in the original Stark Library in the Main Building on campus. Mrs. Stark and her family augmented the original gift for many decades and also established and endowed the private Stark Museum of Art in Orange.
A particular strength is the corpus of early and significant editions of the English Romantics. There are also a number of noteworthy manuscripts in the collection, including works by Byron and the Brontes, a long series of letters from Thomas Jefferson to Charles Willson Peale, and some significant Pre-1700 manuscripts.