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, another 29 courthouses have undertaken emergency or planning work with grant funds, and 25 grants were awarded to update approved preservation Master Plans.
Gross State Product generated through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program
Round XI Application Period Open Now
In Spring 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature appropriated $25 million for the FY 2020-2021 Round XI grant cycle, an increase in almost $5 million from the last biennium. The funding will be used to provide matching grants for full restoration courthouse projects across the state, as well as planning grants to prepare construction documents for these projects. Applications for this grant cycle are due on April 21, 2020. New to this grant cycle is reinstatement of credit towards the 15 percent minimum match for prior capital expenditures and a scoring criterion related to the county’s tax base.
THC Awards Courthouse Preservation Planning Grants to 25 Counties
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is allocating nearly $1.2 million to 25 counties with awards of up to $50,000 each to help plan for preserving their historic courthouses. The agency announced the grant recipients during its January 2019 quarterly meeting in Austin. These recipients have a previously approved courthouse preservation master plan, but have not yet been successful in receiving full courthouse restoration funding from the THC's Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP). Counties receiving the grant awards are: Bandera, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Chambers, Clay, Coleman, Collin, Duval, Frio, Grayson, Hall, Hutchinson, Jefferson, Kimble, Kleberg, Limestone, Mason, McLennan, Randall, Robertson, Taylor, Upshur, Willacy, and Wise counties.
Read the full press release here.
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