Tax Credit Program Highlight: Old Blanco County Courthouse

Blanco, Blanco County



Recorded Texas Historic Landmark; State Antiquities Landmark

Historic Use

Courthouse, various

Current Use

Office and events rental

Date Certified

October 15, 2018


Certified for state tax credits only.

Project Contact

Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society; Hiser Construction Co.


Built in 1886 by architect F.E. Ruffini, the Old Blanco County Courthouse served its original purpose for only four years; the county seat moved to Johnson City 1890. The Old Blanco County Courthouse was repurposed over the next eighty years to serve the community in a variety of functions: an office for lawyers and doctors (1890-1893); a schoolhouse (1893-1901); the Blanco National Bank building (1906-1924); a meeting house for the Farmers’ Union (1925-1937); a general hospital (1937-1961); and most recently the Blanco Museum of the Early West (1971-1973). When a wealthy investor threatened to relocate and restore the dilapidated structure on his personal property in 1986, the community rose up, formed the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society, and successfully petitioned to preserve the building in its original location. The former courthouse now houses offices and is rented out for private events such as weddings.

Rehabilitation Project

The original slate and metal roof of the courthouse had been largely replaced in 1997, but was poorly installed and was already failing, causing rainwater to leak into the interior. This project involved a full replacement of the roof system, including installation of historically appropriate slate tiles and standing-seam metal. The historic metal cornice around the perimeter of the roof was repaired and repainted, and the internal gutter system was recoated for proper performance. Repairs and upgrades were also made to the roof decking, structural members, and attic electrical system where needed. The state tax credit program provides opportunities to help fund necessary repair investments like this one, where costs are high and historic appropriateness and high-quality work and materials are paramount.

In 2019 a second state historic tax credit project was undertaken to rehabilitate the 34 wood windows throughout the courthouse. These were disassembled and some removed to be fixed off site. Over the years many of the window sashes had slipped and could no longer close properly. By repairing these, along with other protective measures including new glazing putty and weatherstripping, the windows were able to be put back in service and are operable once again.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • Prior to rehabilitation, the metal roof of the former courthouse was rusting, the slate portions had missing and damaged shingles, and the entire roof was in very poor repair.