Monday, February 6, 2017

Blanco County Courthouse

The Blanco County Courthouse in Johnson City, Texas has been serving the citizens of Blanco County since its construction in 1916. It was the first permanent courthouse built after the seat of government moved from Blanco to Johnson City in 1890 following a series of elections.  Earlier posts covered the Old Blanco County Courthouse and its interior.

Henry T. Phelps (Alamo Stadium and Atascosa County Courthouse) was the architect.  Interestingly this is the plainest and most non-descript of the many buildings he designed.  James Waterson, a Scottish stonemason who had also worked on the Texas State Capitol, served as the contractor for the limestone building.

During the Christmas the Courthouse, like many courthouses, is draped in lights and illuminated each night.  Johnson City incorporates the Courthouse lighting ceremony into their Christmas celebrations.

The Courthouse was built of native limestone using a traditional cross-axis layout plan.  The Classical Revival style building appears to have had no serious exterior modifications since its construction although sources indicate repairs to the cupola and roof were undertaken in the late 1990's. Each side of the building features Doric columns and an arched entrance topped with a keystone brick design.   The pediments and other features are said to give it the appearance of having Greek porticos.  

The Courthouse was designated a Texas Historic Landmark in 1983. A Texas Centennial marker denoting the history of Blanco County is installed on the north lawn.