Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program Offers Tenth Round of Grants

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is accepting applications for “Round X” of its award-winning Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP). The program received a $20.2 million appropriation from the 85th Texas Legislature for the 2018–2019 biennium.

“The courthouse program positively impacts communities across the state in a variety of ways—revitalizing historic downtowns, bolstering pride through the restoration of a treasured landmark, and creating safer, more functional buildings to serve its citizens,” said THC Architecture Division Director Sharon Fleming.

The THCPP provides partial matching grants for the restoration of historic county courthouses. While restoring the courthouse’s original architectural integrity is an important goal of the program, modernization of handicapped accessibility, security, mechanical, communication, electrical, and plumbing systems are crucial to its continued performance as a courthouse. The program awards three types of grants: planning grants for the production of architectural plans and specifications; construction grants for restorations and rehabilitations; and emergency grants to address critical issues endangering a historic courthouse or its occupants, including damage caused by natural disasters.

The THCPP grant application procedures and forms are available on the THC’s website at thc.texas.gov/thcpp, along with a timeline for submitting applications, construction plans and specifications, and new preservation master plans. Completed grant application materials are due by February 5, 2018. Grant recipients and awards will be announced by the THC in late April 2018.

Since its creation in 1999, the program has attracted more than 131 participants and awarded more than $270 million to counties to fully restore 67 courthouses and provide smaller grants to assist with emergency and planning projects. In addition to providing safe and functional buildings, restoration of historic courthouses benefits the state and local economies. Courthouse preservation projects have created more than 10,650 jobs in Texas and generated more than $555 million in revenue. Restored courthouses reinvigorate historic downtowns and promote heritage tourism, a $7.3 billion industry in Texas. The THC also provides ongoing support and training to county staff for maintenance and upkeep of their restored courthouses through the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Program. For more information about THCPP, contact the THC’s Architecture Division at 512-463-6094.