The Land Office was completed in 1857 on the southeast corner of the Texas State Capitol grounds. The building counted among its employees William Sidney Porter, later to become famous as short-story writer O. Henry. Porter worked in the office from 1887 to 1891 and later set several of his stories there.
The building functioned as the state's land office building until 1917 when the agency moved to a larger building across the street. From 1919 until 1989, the building housed museums run by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and United Daughters of the Confederacy.
The building was modified during the mid-20th century but was restored between 1989 and 1992 to its original style. Today, it serves as the Capitol Visitor's Center. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 25, 1970.