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Webb County Courthouse

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1909, Alfred Giles; 1997 rehabilitation, Killis Almond and Associates. 1000 Houston St.
  • (The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

Laredo continued its northward, railroad-induced growth with the selection of a city block for the new county courthouse in 1882. When that structure burned in 1906, it was replaced with this courthouse by London-born Giles, whose San Antonio–based architectural practice extended from Austin to Monterrey, Mexico. Located off-center on the block, the buff brick, rectangular-plan, three-story brick building is defined at each corner by square pavilions linked by double-tiered, balustraded arcades. The corner mansard roofs, a dated feature by 1909, may well be the influence of Giles's practice in Mexico, a country that favored French architecture during the long presidential tenure of Porfirio Díaz. Its rehabilitation as an office and court venue for county officials included the preservation of its nearly intact interiors: courtroom, paneled woodwork, tiled floors, and fine architectural detailing. The structure served as stylistic reference for nearby public buildings dating to the 1980s, which failed to create significant urban space with the older landmark.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Webb County Courthouse", [Laredo, 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, 271-272.

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