Back in the day the county courthouse (and the square) were sources of pride for local communities. The buildings were fancy and ornate - both inside and out. Hand cut stone. Dark wood. Vaulted ceilings.
But now, once again, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Texas Historical Commission have placed Texas courthouses on the list of the eleven most endangered historic entities.
Since 1998, the state has doled out $247 million to restore 83 courthouses. There are still 70 courthouses in need of repair. Unfortunately the THC doesn't have the funds to do the work, and with the slash-and-burn budget cutting of Gov. Perry, it isn't likely the money will be available from the state anytime soon.
Texas' old courthouses are a public treasure and most are located in counties that can't afford to make the repairs or the renovations needed to bring the buildings back to the original beauty. This heritage needs to be preserved. Now it's just a question of how.