Despite State Capitol closure, many still visit from out of town

As the Texas State Capitol grounds are closed, many from out of town still came to the site on Saturday. 

Jason Holschen and his family are from Alabama. They've been traveling the past year, and today's destination was the Texas State Capitol. 

"You can see the outside beauty," Holschen said. "A lot of what we were thinking about was going in and seeing the inside beauty as well." 



However, like many other visitors, Holschen and his family were only able to see the outside of the capitol on Saturday. "And just like everywhere else we've been, there's a subset of things that aren't possible," he said. "The Capitol is going to be one of them."

Jennifer Lombard was visiting from San Antonio and said while she would have liked to see the inside, she understands why it's closed.  "We have to protect everything that is in there and make sure everything is good," she said. 

DPS said out of an "abundance of caution" they have shut down the state capitol through Wednesday as plans of armed protests circulate not just here, but in all 50 states, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Inauguration

RELATED: Texas DPS closing State Capitol, grounds through Inauguration Day

"I see everyone out there protecting the lands and everything, so it doesn't really scare me," Lombard said. " I don't have that issue because I'm military, so I don't have that issue."

For others, the sight on Saturday was something, they said, they couldn’t pass up. 

"We felt like we needed to come down here and witness it," said Barbara Deane of Austin, who was riding her bike past the Capitol and said seeing hundreds of armed guards and the Capitol shut down is sad.

"You know it used to be the people's house and people could go in and witness lawmaking and what is going on in their state capitol and now it's just sad that it has to be closed down because of a few bad actors," Deane said. adding because of how rioters acted in D.C., many are on high alert. "It removes a lot of that sense of security that we as citizens have as far as we have to move about and visit our own Capitol." 

RELATED: FBI warns of "armed protests" at state capitols ahead of, on Inauguration Day

RELATED: Armed DPS guards pepper lawn of Texas State Capitol during closure

Open or not, Holschen said this trip is a lesson along the way for his two daughters. 

"There is always going to be a difference in opinion," he said. "And that's just based off of how you grew up,  how you were raised, what you believe in. But, they are all of value. Everyone has an opinion. Everybody has a history. And just because your side did not win, doesn't mean you can't be civil towards one another and work towards inclusiveness for all people."