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—242 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 70 Texas courthouse restorations, and another 26 courthouses have received emergency or planning grants to complete small projects.
Income generated through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program
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.
Cooke County Recognized as Historic Preservation Leader
The 2018 Texas Courthouse Stewardship Award - an award designed to recognize counties that have established good stewardship practice to maintain their courthouses in restored condition - was presented at a special ceremony at the Real Places 2018 Conference to the Cooke County Courthouse. Despite being a relatively small, rural county, the Cooke County Courthouse staff have committed themselves to becoming good stewards of the courthouse, developing persuasive documentation to convince the Commissioners' Court to fund maintenance of the historic County Courthouse, purchasing and implementing maintenance software, and undertaking the restoration of the wood windows in-house using specifications from the courthouse restoration project and skills learned at THC stewardship workshops.
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