Harris County Historic Courthouse


Year Built: 1910

Architect: Charles Erwin Barglebaugh (Lang and Witchell)

The Historic 1910 Harris County Courthouse is located in downtown Houston.

From the Historical Marker:

This site has served as the Courthouse Square for Harris (originally Harrisburg) County since the completion of the first county courthouse, a two-story frame structure, in April 1838. Later courthouses were constructed on this site in 1851, 1860 and 1884.

The present structure, which was built in 1909-10, served as the fifth Harris County Courthouse at this location. Designed by Charles Erwin Barglebaugh, an associate in the prominent Dallas architectural firm of Lang and Witchell, the building features classical revival styling. Outstanding details include the domed roof, ornate central projections, or Risalits, with Corinthian columns, and elaborate ornamentation of terra cotta, limestone and masonry. Building materials include pink Texas granite and light brown St. Louis brick. During construction of the courthouse, county offices were housed in a nearby theater.

Shortly after a new criminal courthouse and jail facility was built east of the square in 1952, this structure was remodeled and used as the Harris County Civil Courts building. Beginning in 2009, the county restored the exterior and interior public spaces to their original 1910 appearances. Now in its second century serving the citizens of Harris County, the 1910 courthouse is a dramatic example of civic architecture and a symbol of Harris County’s dynamic growth in the early part of the twentieth century.

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