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Goliad County Courthouse

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1894, Henri E. M. Guidon for Martin, Byrnes and Johnston, builders. Courthouse Sq.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead)

Goliad's courthouse is the work of Victoria-based contractors Martin, Byrnes and Johnston, who specialized in the erection of county courthouses and jails in the late nineteenth century. Architectural historian Mary Carolyn Hollers George discovered that it was designed for the Martin firm by architect Henri E. M. Guidon, a Quebecois who had two short-lived partnerships with San Antonio architect Alfred Giles before moving to Monterrey and then to San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The courthouse is almost identical to the Caldwell County Courthouse of 1894 in Lockhart (see BT6), also built by the Martin firm. Surrounded by mature live oak trees, the courthouse is built of brown-gray blue Muldoon sandstone, with a rusticated finish for the walls and a smooth finish for corner pilasters. Belt courses of dark red Pecos sandstone provide a richly hued contrast. A hurricane in 1942 severely damaged the building, leading to the removal of domical caps framing the north and south entrance portals and a staged, central clock tower. In 2003, the caps and clock tower were restored by TWC Architects, as were portions of the interior, as part of the Texas Historical Commission's Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.

Goliad has one of the most intact late-nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century court house squares in Texas. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and rehabilitated in 1984–1985 when the Texas Historical Commission designated Goliad a Texas Main Street city. Facing the square at 150–152 N. Courthouse Square is the two-story Bergmann Building (1899), which compositionally and materially looks like the work of Jules Leffland. At the west end of this block at 110 and at 102–106 are, respectively, the two-story Cole Block (1891) and a second, more expansive Cole Block (1892), prefaced by a c. 1915 two-story veranda built out over the sidewalk.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Goliad County Courthouse", [Goliad, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 496-497.

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