By Chris Florance, THC’s Public Information and Education Division Director
This month, we’re happy to highlight the latest historic Texas courthouse to complete a full restoration.
On March 12, 2015, Throckmorton County rededicated its courthouse after a five year restoration using funds from the Texas Historical Commission's (THC) Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.
Built in 1890, the Italianate structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, a State Antiquities Landmark, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The recent project was a full restoration, returning the interior and exterior to its 1890 appearance.
The courthouse was designed by Martin, Byrnes and Johnston. In 1938, the building was modified with removal of the cupola, replacement windows and doors, an addition, and extensive interior modifications.
The scope of work included removal of the addition and restoration of the wood windows and doors. The cupola and roof were reconstructed, and the interior wood floors, wainscot, doors and transoms, ceilings, stairs, and shutters were restored.
The concrete floor, plaster walls, and vaulted corrugated metal ceilings were finished in the historic colors. Improvements were made to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including an elevator and an ADA-accessible exterior ramp and bathrooms. An exterior metal fire staircase, fire protection system, security features, and audio/IT equipment provide compliance with modern building codes and courthouse regulations.
Finally, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems were replaced, including restoration of historic fixtures. Storage areas for county documents were moved to the recently rehabilitated annex, and the historic vault door was restored and returned to the courthouse.
The THC’s involvement in the courthouse project extended through two grant cycles, including supplemental funding, awarding a total of $2.7 million. The project began in July 2010, and with its completion joins more than 60 fully restored Texas courthouses receiving grants from the program. For more information about the importance of historic Texas courthouses, visit www.thc.texas.gov/courthouses.
Visit the THC's Facebook page, to view an extended photo gallery of the courthouse's restoration. Below, view a video from the rededication ceremony in which Throckmorton County Historical Commission Chair Trent McKnight speaks about the history of the courthouse.