The Franklin County Courthouse will be rededicated on Saturday, September 20 at 11 a.m., following its four-year restoration, made possible with a $5.44 million grant from the Texas Historical Commission (THC) through its Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.
Work began on the project in 2009 in an effort to return the 1912 Franklin County Courthouse to its former glory.
“Recognition for the award-winning Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program has come all the way from the White House,” said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “On Saturday, we will honor the people of Franklin County, who participated in this nationally recognized program that has preserved some of the most treasured historic structures in the country and restored one of the most valuable assets in Franklin County to its former glory.”
Since 1999, nearly $252 million has been awarded to more than 60 counties for the full restoration of their county courthouses, and the program has served as an important economic engine for Texas.
Courthouse restoration activity throughout Texas has generated nearly 10,000 jobs, about $269 million in income, more than $367 million in gross state product, and more than $21 million in local taxes. The 83rd Texas Legislature appropriated more than $4.2 million for the program.
Texas has more historic courthouses than any other state, and they were collectively listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Most Endangered Places list in 2012. Today, more than 235 courthouses still stand that are at least 50 years old. About 80 of these were built during the 19th century. By the end of the 20th century, most of these structures faced significant challenges due to inadequate maintenance, modifications, or weather-related damage.
“The Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program strives to not only preserve our historic courthouses, but make them functioning, safe, and up-to-date facilities,” said THC Architecture Division Director Sharon Fleming.
For more information about the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, visit the THC website at www.thc.texas.gov, or contact the THC’s Architecture Division at 512.463.6094.
The Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program was established in 1999 by Gov. George W. Bush and the Texas Legislature to restore Texas’ county courthouses to their original splendor and make them safe, functional, and a source of pride for Texas communities. The Texas Historical Commission created and administers the $252 million program.