The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum was designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) and opened in the spring of 1971. The design featured the monumental library building clad in Roman travertine and an expansive plaza paved in travertine and terrazzo. On the plaza are three square fountains.
In 2009, due to significant deterioration caused by water infiltration, the plaza was rebuilt as seen today. Working closely with the Texas Historical Commission, The University of Texas and the National Archives and Records Administration replaced the existing paving materials with granite and reinterpreted the fountains as planting areas. In collaboration with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, native plants were selected to make the plaza more hospitable and environmentally responsible.
The plaza is now an important feature of the Lady Bird Johnson Center, a tribute to the First Lady. Mrs. Johnson is remembered as an advocate of education, the mother of the environmental movement, and a person of tremendous charm and grace. The Lady Bird Johnson Center with its redesigned plaza supports the mission of the Library as a place of education and learning, reflecting the warmth and hospitality of Mrs. Johnson and her love of our beautiful Texas landscape.
The photograph above depicts the original design. A section of the original paving is preserved at the northwest quadrant of the plaza.