Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Texas courthouses placed on endangered list

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog knows that I love old courthouses. Whenever I go out of town, either on business or pleasure, if there's an old courthouse around, I'll be out taking pictures. Domes, clock towers, Lady Justice, balconies and gargoyles are some of the funky little details you'll find as you drive around the state.

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.

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.

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