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.
Major Films Featuring a Texas Courthouse
Stewardship Award Presented to Cameron County
The 2020 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 XI Grants Awarded
On June 17, 2020, the THC Commissioners voted to approve grants to 9 of 21 applicants for Round XI funding. Full restoration grants were awarded to Callahan, Mason, and Taylor counties. Planning grants were awarded to Kimble, Washington, Willacy, and Wise counties. Emergency grants were awarded to Duval and Lee counties. An additional award was granted to Polk county in February 2021 after more funds were made available for grant awards.
Further details will be circulated as projects move forward. Congratulations to our grant recipients!
Click on any image to view the photo gallery.