The 148,000-square-foot complex was built in response to the space limitations of the 1907 courthouse ( LA12) to its south. Sited on two city blocks next to the conglomerate of city-county buildings, the L-plan, limestone-sheathed, three-story courthouse is set on a raised esplanade that sets it apart from the historic urban grid. Evoking a classical vocabulary, the colonnaded front elevation is enlivened at the juncture of its two wings with a seemingly freestanding rotunda with Pantheon dome. A full-height, glass-encased entrance lobby is recessed from the rotunda's outer masonry walls, which shield the space from the intense South Texas sun. The five-courtroom complex also houses an assortment of government agencies.
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