Washington County officials are seeking old photos of the Washington County Courthouse in order to receive grant funding from the Texas Historical Commission.

Commissioner Joy Fuchs says the county’s grant writers need photos of the courthouse’s original interior, prior to any changes being made, so they can make their grant application historically correct.

Any grant funding received would be used to restore the inside and outside of the courthouse.

Fuchs says the photos are needed as soon as possible, and encourages anyone with photos to send them to the county judge’s office or bring them by the courthouse.

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  1. Who cares?
    I guess you do.
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    It could use a pressure wash.
    Other than that, it is a waste of money and time.
    Let’s focus on other issues like why has it taken over 10 years start cleaning up the water damaged Musuem?

    1. Need to change your ID to Mr. 2 CENTS. You have to have your input on every topic, as if you are some expert or someone who is looked up to.

    2. When I lived there: besides some apparent politics involved…

      A. Electric Wiring was turn of century, but older than current safety standards. Most was exposed.

      B. Asbestos was found and because it was exposed from being enclosed/covered, all of it had to be removed.

      There’s probably more to it, but that’s all I remember, and the ones I know who’d know more are gone or may not remember all of it.


      Courthouse needs a good power wash for sure from what I see just last week, done interiors need minor/moderate repair.

  2. You seem to think that the courthouse was remodeled in 1939 and that it is still the Victorian-era brick one underneath the cladding. It is not. Architecture reflects materials, technologies, and aesthetics valued by society at the time in which a building is designed and constructed. While a log cabin with chinked gaps might look quaint, I don’t think any commercial housing developer would offer that as an option in any of the quickly growing subdivisions around town. Strangely enough, with all of the desires of people to have ‘freedom’ and ‘make their own choices’, and the like, almost all of the houses in the subdivisions around Brenham are cookie cutter versions of one or two plans drawn by the same architect, and the next door neighbor’s house is nothing more than the plan flipped. There are two or three sizes and appearances. There is a dearth of colors, as most are painted gray (as are a growing number of downtown brick buildings). 25 years ago, few would have painted a building gray, unless it was of cinder block construction; now, many brick buildings have been irreparably changed and can never be returned to their original appearance. I don’t find buildings in a downtown that mimic a naval yard especially historic or examples of proper conservation and preservation. While many people do not like the appearance of our courthouse, it is one of the few of that style in the state, and it has served the county well for 80 years, and hopefully will be preserved to keep serving. Remember the city hall on the corner of Vulcan and North Park? One would have thought that new construction should have lasted longer than it did. In what architectural style did the Hildebrandt’s (IIRC) design it?

    1. Seems that you were offended at my suggestion, and your thesis on the courthouse was quite extensive, Never thought the Victorian-era brick was underneath the cladding. Since Washington Co. is one of the oldest and most historical counties in the state of Texas, it only seems that our courthouse might reflect this in it’s architecture. The current courthouse is Art Deco and was built to reflect the Depression Era, and actually does reflect coldness and depression (only my opinion). The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington on the Brazos. The reason that we have Historical Society’s, is to preserve the original history of homes and buildings. Just seems that our ‘original’ history is being demolished little by little.

      1. If I recall correctly – that’s because the •second• one was torn down then built by the WPA or CCC as a project.

        Unfortunately most present day WPA/CCC buildings still existing/in use have this tone.

        If it’s Art Deco, it’s late deco (1930s).

        The current one however is the THIRD courthouse if I remember correctly, with the first destroyed due to fire or ruining condition (someone living longer there could clarify).

        But seriously – anyone saying Washington’s is the “ugliest” has NOT traveled the state like me.

        It truly isn’t – plenty more qualify better there.

        I will however concede it’s one of the “colder feel” ones.

      2. All of history is “original history” when it happens. The built environment is a tapestry, not a snapshot of some precious and idealized moment in the past. It’s good to maintain and restore old buildings to honor them and the era in which they were built, but we should build new buildings so that they appear new, true to their nature in terms of function and cost, and a continuation of the tapestry. Then we should cherish them, too, just as we should the extant Courthouse.

  3. Have you seen the Austin County Courthouse in Bellville? It also replaces a beautiful structure that burned…

  4. Anyone who says that the courthouse is ugly, has NEVER seen the 1960s cornbread/yellow box courthouses in Comanche, Andrews, Matador, etc.

    Washington’s is “cold” for some but it looks better than many.

  5. I have driven all over Texas and our Courthouse is the Ugliest in the State of Texas!!! Anything would help…

  6. Our courthouse needs to looks more historical, as it did from 1884 to 1939. The cold marble box that exists now, brings ‘zero’ character to our downtown square.

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