Long-Awaited Brooks County Courthouse Re-Dedication Celebrates 96 Year-Old Structure
AUSTIN — Built in 1914, the Brooks County Courthouse has served the community despite needing major renovations. Some repairs were made in the 1980's, but the courthouse has needed serious attention for about a decade. Today, the courthouse opens up with a fresh face after receiving a million-dollar makeover.
The Texas Historic Preservation Program, created in 1999 and funded by the Texas Legislature, made this renovation a possibility. Updates to the building include: a new electrical distribution system, slate roof, accessible elevator, renovated bathrooms, fire alarms, and an improved air conditioning system.
Senator Hinojosa commented on the state program that contributed to the courthouse renovation project.
"The Texas Historic Preservation Program intends to preserve and restore Texas' historic infrastructure. The Brooks County Courthouse is not only a symbol of Texas heritage, it is the county seat and home of county government. This building belongs to the citizens of Brooks County. When we set this money aside in 1999, we wanted to keep these courthouses in operation, serving the people that helped to build them," Hinojosa said.
The Brooks County Courthouse structure has two cornerstones. The Masonic cornerstone contains the "corn of nourishment," "the wine of refreshment," and "the oil of joy," all dedicated to the welfare and prosperity of Brooks County residents. The county cornerstone contains several U.S. and Mexican coins and a copy of a 1914 newspaper.
Many of the remodeling touches maintain the courthouse's historical design. Audience seating installed in the courthouse dates back to the early 20th Century. The project received more than $3 million from the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.