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 74 Texas courthouse restorations, another 29 courthouses have undertaken emergency or planning work with grant funds, and 25 grants were awarded to update approved preservation Master Plans.
Courthouse Grant Funding Awarded Since 1999
Stewardship Award Presented to Cameron County
The 2021 Texas Courthouse Stewardship Award—designed to recognize counties that have established good stewardship practice to maintain their courthouses in restored condition—was presented to the Cameron County Courthouse. The building was rededicated on October 17, 2006 after the county undertook its own exterior restoration in the 1990’s and a full interior restoration funded through a 2002 construction grant from the THC’s Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. In addition to a commitment to outstanding building maintenance since the restoration, Cameron County’s facility staff consults courthouse program staff for technical guidance & review of proposed work, and regularly attends stewardship training offered through the THC.
Round XII Grant Cycle
The 87th Texas Legislature has allocated $25 million for the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP) for the FY 2022-23 biennium. Round XII funding offers an opportunity for THCPP program participants to restore the historic integrity of these cherished symbols of local government while upgrading the buildings to meet modern requirements. The program may award construction grants for full restoration and rehabilitation, planning grants for developing architectural construction documents, and emergency grants to repair or prevent catastrophic damage.
The full application, application guide, and cycle schedule will be available November 5, 2021.
Completed applications will be due 5pm, May 13, 2022.
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