Texas County Courthouses
Photo Sites • Architecture
Architecture: The Detailed Beauty of Texas Courthouses
One doesn't have to be a county official to
appreciate the joy of a beautiful county courthouse. Several
coffee-table books and numerous Internet sites offer photos
that identify the courthouses as well as the unique architectural styles
in which they were built. But what does it mean to say that a building
is “Second Empire” or “Beaux Arts” or “Art Deco?”
To find out, County asked photojournalist Amber Novak to consult
with architects who specialize in courthouse styles and then head out to
counties around the state to capture the unique elements that earn particular
courthouses their architectural labels.
In each of five
issues of County, the magazine highlights two styles from the same
periods of history. You'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.
First, we start with related styles from the turn of the
20th Century (1900): Renaissance Revival and Italianate.
In the second article, we explore French Second Empire and
Romanesque Revival courthouses of the late 1800's.
The third article looks at the early 20th Century styles of Neoclassical Revival and Beaux-Art Classicism.
The late 1920's to the early 1940's marked the Art Moderne and Art Deco trend of courthouse design in Texas as noted in the fourth article of the series.
The final article in the series looks at post-World War II courthouses which follow the dictates of Brutalism
and Modernistic schools, often indistinguishable from contemporary