You are here

McLennan County Courthouse

-A A +A
1901, J. Riely Gordon with Wesley C. Dodson. 501 Washington Ave.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )
  • (The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

The courthouse ranks among Gordon's best work, illustrating the range of his talent in this shift from his earlier Romanesque mode to a full-blown classicism. The Beaux-Arts building commands a full block and is executed in white limestone with metal cornices and dome painted to look like stone. The vertical proportions are given a wonderful airiness by the fluttering wings of the large eagles around the dome. Unlike many Texas county courthouses, the McLennan Courthouse is not situated in a public square surrounded by the town's commercial district. Instead, it fronts one of the several main commercial streets of downtown Waco, with a grand staircase that ascends the sloped site.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "McLennan County Courthouse", [Waco, 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, 122-122.

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.