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Kleberg County Courthouse

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1914, Atlee B. Ayres. 700 E. Kleberg Ave.

Similar in scale and massing to Ayres's courthouses in Alice ( KA32), Refugio ( RF1), Brownsville ( BS11), this one is less assertive and more monotone in design. Classical in appearance, with Prairie Style detailing at its entrance porches, the square-plan, three-story building clad in red brick and cream limestone is set, parklike, in a full city block surrounded by a tree-lined lawn. George Willis, working in Ayres's office at the time, was the former head draftsman for Frank Lloyd Wright and the probable source of the Prairie influence in these courthouses. A one-story rear wing from 1966 mimics the original exterior design.

The courthouse, set at the eastern terminus of Kleberg Avenue, and Henrietta M. King High School, set at the western end, were two pillars of stability along a thoroughfare intended to gather the prime business, government, education, and religious establishments of Kingsville. More symbolic than visual in strength, the axial relationship between the courthouse and the school lacks a wide thoroughfare and was a later addition to the city plat, as opposed to an original urban design feature.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.
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Citation

Gerald Moorhead et al., "Kleberg County Courthouse", [Kingsville, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/TX-01-KA1.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 254-254.

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