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Fort Bend County Courthouse

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1909, Charles H. Page and Brother. 400 block of Jackson St.
  • (The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

The Fort Bend County Courthouse, by Page, a prolific Austin architect, straddles what had been a boundary line between the business district to the north on Morton Street and a residential district to the south. Page was not a master of classical architecture. Nonetheless, he asserted authority with three-story Corinthian columns; a central dome capped by a cupola, clock, and Justice; and corner cupolas. The building's base, of dark red, iron-spotted brick, ascends to walls of iron-spotted buff brick laid up with thin joints of buff mortar. The courthouse was rehabilitated in 1981 by Ray Bailey Architects and again in 2011 by Bailey Architects with funding from the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.

Unfortunately, the courthouse—and the view of it from the Brazos River bridge—is obscured by the county's William B. Travis Building of 1988 by Houston architect Christopher Di Stefano and Associates. Di Stefano's Jane Long Building (1979) for Fort Bend County at 501 Jackson Street is much more compatible with the courthouse. Facing Jackson Street on axis with the main entrance to the county courthouse is a standing bronze figure of Mirabeau B. Lamar by sculptor Sidney Waugh, commissioned by the State of Texas to celebrate the centennial of Texas independence in 1936.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

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