Cameron County (Brownsville)
Architect: Atlee B. Ayers
Year Built: 1912
The 1912 Cameron County Courthouse is absolutely beautiful. Designed in the Classical style, it is constructed of brown brick and terra cotta that give off a magnificent glow in the Deep South Texas sun.
Atlee Ayers was the State Architect for the State of Texas from 1914 to 1917. Ayres also designed the Courthouses for Jim Wells County; for Kleberg County; and Refugio County. He also oversaw adding a third floor and extensive reconstruction of the original 1887 Val Verde County Courthouse at Del Rio in 1915.
Ayers also designed many of San Antonio’s premier buildings, to include the Tower Life Building (the “Smith-Young Tower”).
Cameron County was first formed by the Texas Legislature in 1848 — even before its territory was officially part of Texas or the U.S. Its first county seat was the ghost town of Santa Rita, but no courthouse was built there.
The first Cameron County Courthouse was built in 1882, and designed by Jasper N. Preston (who also designed the Driskill Hotel in Austin). A more modern courthouse was built (and is still operational) a few blocks away in