Texas courthouses are among the most widely recognized, used, and appreciated assets in our communities. With some courthouses dating from as far back as the mid-19th century, they were among the first permanent structures in many counties. With their brick and stone towers, ornate cupolas, and soaring domes, they represent an impressive collection of public architecture. Not surprisingly, Texas has more historic courthouses than any other state—235 are still in active government use. With decades or even centuries of use, most of these structures have significantly deteriorated due to inadequate maintenance, insensitive modifications, or weather-related damage.
The Texas Historical Commission's (THC) nationally recognized and award-winning Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP) has turned around the trend of disrepair and begun restoring these treasured historic landmarks. To date, the program has funded 67 Texas courthouse restorations and another 26 courthouses have received emergency or planning grants to complete small projects.
Today, restored county courthouses serve as a catalyst to economic revitalization in the business districts that surround courthouse squares throughout the state. Counties with restored historic courthouses also see an impact in the form of increased tourism, accessibility, safety, energy efficiency, and much more.
In support of the projects completed with state grant funds, the THC also created the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Program, which provides technical assistance and training to county staff in how to maintain their newly restored courthouse.
Courthouse review staff at THC are here to help. If you have questions about your courthouse, please contact the reviewer for your county.
Direct Travel Spending in Texas
Program Exhibit: State Capitol
The courthouse program is currently exhibiting a display that illustrates the benefits of the program and how it has helped counties with telling Real Stories, fueling the local and state Economic Engine, addressing and preventing Deferred Maintenance, boosting Community Pride and providing State Services in 21st Century Courthouses that are Built to Last.
The exhibit can be seen:
- March 14th-18th in the Central Gallery E2
Restored Texas Courthouses Boost Heritage Tourism
In this video from the Texas Society of Architects, watch Texas State Representative Andrew Murr describe the urgent need to fund courthouse preservation in our state.
Click on any image to view the photo gallery.