The construction of the Texas Governor's Mansion in downtown Austin was completed on June 14, 1856. Almost 152 years later to the day, the structure at the corner of 10th and Lavaca Streets is a smoldering shell of its former self following a "catastrophic" early-morning blaze that's destroyed the state landmark. The Austin American-Statesman reports at this hour that the Austin Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal's office are still trying to determine what caused the fire; The Dallas Morning News is reporting that it was deliberately set. Below, some amateur video taken on the scene early this morning, in which smoke can be seen filling downtown Austin. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.