I’m Jim Lindberg, the National Trust's project manager for Texas courthouses. Part of my role as project manager will be to share news on our progress to save the historic courthouses of Texas. I’ll be providing frequent updates as we work with the Texas Historical Commission, Preservation Texas, and local partners to support efforts to preserve and rehabilitate the state’s amazing collection of county courthouses.
Last month I was in Austin to participate in a press conference where we announced that Texas courthouses were included on the National Trust’s list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. This was the second time that we’ve put Texas courthouses on the list; the first was back in 1998. Much has been accomplished since that first listing, with some 83 courthouses receiving grants from a state fund managed by the Texas Historical Commission.
But at least 75 more courthouses still need help, including three that were represented at the press conference by local officials and advocates who had driven the better part of a day to be there. In talking with each of these groups afterward, I learned more about the challenges they face – from crumbling foundations to unsafe wiring. I also heard their passion for history and vision for what a restored courthouse would mean to their community. It was inspiring to meet these dedicated volunteers.
With help from our partners at the Texas Historical Commission, we’ve received excellent coverage in the media since the announcement, each article highlighting the importance of courthouses across Texas, and the progress of efforts to preserve them: