Some 12 years ago, County Progress Magazine launched a series dedicated to the restoration and renovation of our county capitols. Titled “Courthouse Trails,” this special section recaps the efforts of counties across the Lone Star State who have taken special measures to restore their capitols to their original splendor and/or launch comprehensive renovation projects to ensure safety and workability, culminating in the proud rededication of their courthouses.
Our coverage to date includes:
- March 2003: Ellis, Grimes, Hopkins, Milam and Shelby counties
- August 2003: Erath, Donley, Lampasas, Llano and Shackelford counties
- February 2004: Atascosa, Gray, Goliad, Parker and Red River counties
- September 2004: Hudspeth, Lee, Presidio, Sutton and Val Verde counties
- February 2005: Dimmit, Jeff Davis and Wheeler counties
- September 2005: Archer, Bexar, Denton and Fayette counties
- February 2006: Harrison (exterior completion), Maverick, Rains and Wharton counties
- August 2006: Bee, Lamar, Lavaca, and Nueces counties
- February 2007: Cameron, Cooke (exterior completion), DeWitt and Menard counties
- August 2007: Bosque, Leon and Williamson counties
- February 2008: Johnson County
- August 2008: Dallas County
- August 2009: Harrison County (interior completion)
- February 2010: Kendall and McCulloch counties
- September 2010: Kenedy County
- February 2011: Brooks County
- September 2011: Harris, Mills, San Augustine and Trinity counties
- February 2012: Cooke County (interior completion)
- September 2012: Cass, Hamilton and Roberts counties
- February 2013: Franklin (exterior completion) and Potter counties
- September 2013: Comal, La Salle, Newton and Terry counties
- September 2014: Colorado, Dickens (emergency repairs), Edwards, Fort Bend and Robertson counties
- February 2015: Franklin (interior completion), Hardeman and Throckmorton counties
- October 2015: Nolan County
As your courthouse project nears completion, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we may feature your county is this special section.
Nolan County Courthouse – Sweetwater
Courthouses in Nolan County have ranged in style from the Italianate Stone Structure in 1888 – James Edward Flanders; the 1917 Classical Revival – C. H. Page and Brother; and the 1977 Modern Fortress – Welch and Hampton.
Following a near tragedy in 2012 when a 5-foot-by-10-foot granite panel fell to the sidewalk below, the Nolan County Commissioners Court hired the architectural firm of Wiginton Hooker Jeffry (WHJ) to determine the best course of action and to ultimately design a new exterior. WHJ led the design effort with assistance from Curtainwall Design Consulting and Turner Construction Company. The $3 million-plus project was approved by voters in a November 2012 bond election.
The renovation efforts included an analysis of the existing granite veneer; removal and replacement of the granite façade; replacement of all exterior windows and lobby curtain wall with insulating glass units, along with the addition of wall insulation where there had essentially been none; and a new, native Texas limestone façade that was installed over the entire courthouse exterior. This was all accomplished while county departments and personnel continued their day-to-day activities.
During the design phase, the Nolan County Commissioners Court worked with WHJ and Turner Construction in considering various materials to replace the granite. In the end, everyone agreed that the native limestone displayed a warmth and strength reminiscent of Texas and Texas courthouses. In fact, the 254 Texas Courthouses website states, “The new design, by architects Wiginton Hooker Jeffry (now part of Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects), illustrates the power of material, color and scale on the exterior of buildings.” http://www.254texascourthouses.net/064-nolan-county.html.
The county recognized its restored courthouse in a Masonic cornerstone ceremony and ribbon cutting on Nov. 18, 2014. Information provided by Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architects Inc.