Inside Downtown’s Brand-New 1910 Courthouse

Judges and their staff from the 1st and 14th state courts of appeals won’t move in until next month, but a restored and rejiggered version of the 1910 Harris County Courthouse at 301 Fannin St. downtown was opened yesterday for a rededication ceremony after 5 years of construction. PGAL and Vaughn Construction directed a $65 million renovation that undid all sorts of alterations to the building begun in 1953. The original building was designed by an architect from Dallas, Charles Erwin Barglebaugh, on the site of 4 previous county courthouses. Swamplot photographer Candace Garcia brings back this photo tour:


Photos: Candace Garcia

14 Comment

  • Beautiful! I attended the re-dedication and was completely blown away, having been there many times before the restoration, I had a hard time remembering how it had been before. I am envious of the Justices, staff attorneys and staff that will call this wonderful building home. PS, the bathrooms are no longer disgusting!

  • That is nothing short of spectacular. Congratulations to everyone who made this project come about.

  • Thanks to Gus and Candace for giving us this visual tour. I’d really like to see it, but not so much that I actually want to go downtown, park, walk, then strain my neck looking up.

  • Epic project. Beautifully done.

  • Finally, Harris County can join much of the rest of Texas and be proud of a beautifully restored court house. As someone who enjoys stopping in most every county seat (w 254 I still have miles to go) to see what incredible restorations have been accomplished, I now can invite others to see our own jewel here on the bayou. Worth every penny for future generations.

  • I recall discussing the old Courthouse with a well-placed county official when they first took up the idea of a remodel. At the time, I advocated that a new building would be the most efficient use of tax dollars considering the permanent cost of upkeep we will now enjoy. I am remain convinced this is the right approach. Nostalgia is a fools errand. We needed a building that demonstrates Houston’s movement towards the future, not the past.

  • LandedGent – That is exactly the kind of thinking that gave us the new Harris County Civil Courthouse, the downtown home for the civil district courts. Have you seen it? If that’s moving towards the future, I’ll take the past any day. Not to mention that the most sustainable (green)option is to rehab rather that scrape and build new.

  • But what about the “Goddess of Justice” that was on the top of the dome?????

  • From Hank:

    But what about the “Goddess of Justice” that was on the top of the dome?????

    I asked that question about 10 years ago and was told I imagined it. Thanks for sharing my delusion.

  • Wow – that’s beautiful.

  • I heard on NPR that the woman statue topper is an urban legend. Apparently the original topper was researched, replicated and now sits on top of the Court House.

  • I agree with LandedGent. It would have been much more efficient for the county to have just rented space in a strip shopping center. Maybe they could have found some place with a drive through.

    May we affirm your conviction?
    Would you like fries with that?

    Just imagine the possibilities.

  • Looking forward to my next oral arguments in the new home of the courts of appeals. The old courthouse had been remuddled to death.

  • The stained glass ceiling skylight is beautiful. Art like that is not made any more. Some things ARE worth preserving!!!