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—235 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 restored 63 Texas courthouses and another 28 courthouses have received emergency or planning grants to complete small projects.
Today, restored county courthouses serve as a catalyst to economic revitalization in the business districts that surround courthouse squares throughout the state. Counties with restored historic courthouses also see an impact in the form of increased tourism, accessibility, safety, energy efficiency, and much more.
In support of the projects completed with state grant funds, the THC also created the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Program, which provides technical assistance and training to county staff in how to maintain their newly restored courthouse.
Income generated through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program
Round IX Grant Cycle
The Texas Historical Commission is now accepting applications for Round IX of its award-winning Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. The program received a $20 million appropriation from the 84th Texas Legislature for the 2016–2017 biennium. For more information and grant application materials, visit the Round IX Grant Cycle webpage.
Bexar County Courthouse Rededication
In a city rich in heritage, San Antonio’s 1896 Bexar County Courthouse is once again basking in its former glory. The Romanesque Revival-style courthouse was rededicated in July after a long, multi-phase restoration project came to fruition. Read more about the project and view a photo gallery in our courthouse of the month blog post.
Click on any image to view the photo gallery.