The pyramidal massing of Gordon's Romanesque Revival design is organized around the central tower, whose exterior carries four clock faces. The arms of the cruciform plan are joined by four curved entrance porches placed at the reentrant angles, a Gordon innovation in courthouse design, introduced here and at the near-twin Hopkins County Courthouse in Sulphur Springs in northeast Texas, also built in 1894. Gordon's use of red brick instead of stone (Hopkins County Courthouse is built of Texas pink granite and red sandstone) is unusual in his courthouses, indicating a need for a more economical material. The interior clearly demonstrates that the tower was crucial to Gordon's design, serving to house the staircase that leads to the courtroom on the second floor and to draw hot air upward for natural ventilation. The courthouse may have been built without Gordon's direct involvement, since his favorite contractor, Otto Kroeger, provided the plans and spoke at the building's dedication.
You are here
Gonzales County Courthouse
1894, J. Riely Gordon; 1997 restoration, Volz and Associates. St. Louis St. between St. Joseph and St. Paul sts.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.