Kendall County Courthouse
The restored Kendall County Courthouse will resemble the county captiol as it was in 1909 following the Alfred Giles addition, which reflects the stylistic trends of that period in Texas. For example, in the 1890s and early 1900s the Romanesque Revival style and its semi-circular arches graced many area structures. On the Kendall County Courthouse the arches define the main entrance and are flanked by octagonal wings. The quarry-faced ashler stonework is accented with cut-stone horizontal banding at the window heads of both levels. Although the stone is similar to the earlier parts of the building, there is a contrast between the rough texture of the latest addition and smooth face of the earlier work.
To achieve the $1.2 million project goals, infill walls, existing restrooms, suspended grid ceilings, carpeting, exposed wiring, and other features from later periods are being removed, and new mechanical, plumbing, electrical and fire sprinkler systems are being installed and hidden within attic and crawl spaces.
To achieve an authentic appearance, the county consulted a paint conservator to complete a thorough analysis to determine appropriate finishes to the 1909 period. In addition, wood floors, ceilings, doors, windows, hardware and trim are being restored.
Project plans include a furniture layout based on existing pieces coupled with evidence uncovered during the demolition phase of the project and consultation with Texas Historical Commission (THC) staff. Project financing was provided through a grant from the THC Texas Historical Courthouse Preservation Program along with a county match.Wagner & Klein Architects of Fredericksburg designed and administered the restoration, M.J. Boyle of San Antonio was the general contractor, and Commissioner Gene Miertschin acted as the local county representative for the project.
Kendall County plans to rededicate the courthouse on March 30.
Information courtesy of Wagner & Klein
Kendall County is located on Interstate 10 west of San Antonio and is the Key to the Hill Country, with Boerne, (rhymes with journey) as the county seat. The county is just a short drive from San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Sea World and the Riverwalk, but it is light years away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.
Settled by German emigrants in the 1840s and 1850s, Kendall County was the only county created during the Civil War. Many of the residents remained loyal to the Union. In fact, the only monument south of the Mason-Dixon Line that honors Union dead is located in the township of Comfort; the True to the Union monument honors those who died in the Nueces Massacre.
Along with ample antique shopping in the historic sections of Boerne and Comfort, Kendall County offers a wide assortment of natural wonders. The Guadalupe River traverses the county from the northwest corner to the southeast corner. Its sparkling, spring-fed waters meander through giant, cypress-lined banks.
There are two commercial caverns in the county affording a wonderland of underground fascination along with a cool break from the summer's warmth.
A drive along the back roads of Kendall County will feature a multitude of small streams and creeks; wildlife abounds with white-tailed deer, turkeys, raccoons and armadillos. Many of the ranches stock exotic wildlife such as axis deer, white bucks, zebras, and of course, buffalo and long horns.
An abandoned train tunnel on "Old Number Nine" is now home to millions of bats that can be safely seen from a platform provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife.
McCulloch County Courthouse
The 1899 McCulloch County Courthouse has been restored to its historic 1910 appearance. Previous interior modifications have been reversed, most notably the removal of non-historic rooms created above the original two-story district courtroom. The restored two-story district courtroom required reconstruction of the decorative curvilinear bar rail, the Victorian-style seating, the decorative metal ceiling, and restoration of the red oak furnishings. Repairs were made to the building’s distinctive exterior limestone patterns and arches, and a new roof was installed matching the historic metal shingles.
New building components were installed including Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms and elevator as well as new plumbing, electrical, communications, and fully automated HVAC systems. Throughout the restored building, historic wood floors, high ceilings featuring decorative metal tiles, and beautiful longleaf pine casework are once again gleaming. Since foundation movement was seriously deteriorating and jeopardizing the structural integrity of the courthouse, extensive and complex foundation repair was accomplished with more than 40 new concrete piers that are 25 feet deep. The expansive, unique, oval-shaped courthouse site was restored.
Project financing was provided through a grant from the THC Texas Historical Courthouse Preservation Program along with a county match. TWC Architects of Austin designed and administered the restoration, Journeyman Construction Inc. of Austin served as the construction manager, and County Commissioner Jim Quinn acted as the local county representative for the project.
The McCulloch County Courthouse was rededicated on Sept. 5, 2009.
Information courtesy of TWC Architects
Known worldwide as a giant frontier state, Texas’ true geographic heart can be found 12 miles north of the McCulloch County Courthouse on Highway 377. And, if that’s not enough, the sidewalk from the south entrance of the courthouse leads to the only location in the state where five highways intersect at one sign pole (183, 377, 190, 71 and 87).
The county seat of Brady and the surrounding area offer a variety of special attractions including Brady Lake with its 25 miles of shoreline and 2,020 acres of surface area, offering outdoor enthusiasts boating, skiing, swimming, camping and fishing.
The Heart of Texas Country Music Museum represents more than 100 artists and provides a musical journey that traces the history of the country music industry. Memorabilia include stage costumes, musical instruments, autographs, posters, and various collector items from legendary figures.
The Heart of Texas Historical Museum is housed in the former McCulloch County Jail. The three-story structure was constructed in 1910 and served as the county's correctional facility until 1974 when it was deeded to the historical society as a museum. The Curtis Field Control Tower, which was located at Curtis Field during World War II, was donated to the museum, restored and dedicated to the 10,000 men and women who trained there and to veterans of all branches of military service from McCulloch County.
A historical marker seven miles east of Brady details the Soldier's Waterhole where U.S. soldiers rested while traveling the nearby military road during the Civil War.
McCulloch County's location in the northwest Texas Hill Country provides hunting enthusiasts a year-round wealth of dove, turkey, quail, white-tailed deer, and exotic species.
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