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Houston County Courthouse

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1939, Blum E. Hester. 401 E. Houston Ave.

The 1883 courthouse by W. C. Dodson was demolished in 1938 to build this, the fifth county courthouse, with Public Works Administration (PWA) funding. The severe Moderne building’s three-story central block and two-story wings of cream limestone rise above a raised basement of gray limestone. Steel-framed windows and green marble spandrels are recessed and stacked vertically to form dark voids, creating the impression of a colonnaded temple. Ornamentation is spare, consisting of fluting above the windows of the wings and along the cornice, and embossed aluminum panels in the spandrels of the central block. The jail was on the fourth floor, partially concealed by the tall parapet.

The courthouse has a preservation master plan and construction documents (1999, 2005, Bailey Architects) and is waiting restoration funding from the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.

Houston architect Blum E. Hester (1902–1977), who designed no other courthouses in Texas, moved to Crockett during construction, but he soon left the full-time practice of architecture and entered the ministry.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Houston County Courthouse", [Crockett, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 35-35.

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