..............Visit a restored, historic county courthouse in Texas
......AUSTIN — With more than 234 county courthouses that are at least 50 years old, Texas has more historic county courthouses than any other state. Many of these beautiful buildings are the crown jewel of a community and are the perfect stop for heritage tourists this summer.
The Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program has helped bring back to life more than 45 of these structures for the benefit and enjoyment of communities and heritage travelers alike. From restoring bell towers to preserving original courthouse vaults, the THC’s courthouse program ensures these real architectural treasures will continue to tell the real stories of our state’s past.
A nnounced in June 1999, the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program provides partial matching grants to Texas counties for the restoration of their historic county courthouses.
Since its inception, the program awarded $227 million to counties and local governments have matched this with more than $147 million. Courthouse restorations have generated more than 7,750 jobs throughout Texas and more than $17 million in local taxes.
Recently restored courthouses include Harrison County Courthouse, decorated with bronzed eagles and located in historic downtown Marshall, and Kendall County Courthouse in the scenic hill country town of Boerne.
Another courthouse worth visiting is the Kenedy County Courthouse in Sarita. Although the building was not a recipient of a Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program grant, the community utilized the guidance of the THC and succeeded in rededicating their historic courthouse on May 28.
For more information on the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program and participating courthouses, visit www.thc. state.tx.us or contact the THC’s Architecture Division at 512-463- 6094.