I adore old courthouses. I marvel at the care that was taken a century or more ago to build the government seat. Courthouses built in the late 1800s, even those built in tiny towns, often have lovely architectural embellishments. Have you noticed that most government offices we build these days are sterile, antiseptic structures (with metal detectors at the door)? Those new ones are hardly photo worthy.
When we ventured to Lockhart, Texas in search of barbecue we discovered that Smitty’s Market was near the Caldwell County Courthouse square. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to take pictures of this lovely edifice.
Walking around the square, I noticed the reflection of the courthouse in a store window. I tried to get creative with my photography (without much success).
I turned around to snap a picture of what I was seeing in the glass.
Because of the position of the sun, I couldn’t snap a good picture of the face of the courthouse, but it was impressive enough from the rear. Finished in 1894 (although the cornerstone claims 1893), this structure is built of Muldoon blue sandstone with Pecos red sandstone trim. The style is Second Empire (and I know these things thanks to TexasEscapes.
Did our ancestors build these glorious structures out of a respect for law and the government? Or, were these grandiose courthouses monuments to the dreams and ambitions they had for their community?
Just wandering the grounds of this courthouse, I felt I had gone back in time.