1894 Caldwell County Courthouse|
Photo courtesy Terry
Caldwell County Courthouse - Lockhart, Texas
Date of completion - 1894
Architect - Henry E. M. Guidon
Firm: Giles and Guidon
Contractor: Martin, Byrne & Johnston
Style - Second
Material - Muldoon
blue sandstone, with Pecos red sandstone trim
Recorded Texas Historic
|The Texas Historical
Commission description states: "Most attribute its design to San
Antonio architect Alfred
Giles. However, it is more likely that Henri E. M. Guindon [sic] is the architect."|
entry on the THC website states: "plans were sold to Caldwell County during [a]
brief period when Guidon did not work with Giles, same plans subsequently sold
to Goliad shortly
after Guidon rejoined Giles practice, Giles later ads claimed both Caldwell and
Goliad as his."
County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939|
Photo courtesy TXDoT
County Courthouse as it appeared in 1905 |
Courtesy of Texas Historic Commission
|The three story building
is constructed mainly from "Muldoon
Blue" sandstone quarried in Fayette County. The popular stone was used in
many other courthouses
and churches across Texas.
Until its recent
total restoration the building only went through minor repairs and improvements.
In 1969 the building received air conditioning and had an elevator installed.
In 1977 the district courtroom was converted to office space, with the then-popular
plastic paneling and a dropped ceiling. The following year downspouts were replaced,
windows and doors were repaired and the stonework was repointed.
many years the color scheme was "cream and green." The nearby H.E.B.
grocery matched the colors at the request of Lockhart's
City Council. The original colors were brought back during the recent restoration.
courthouse in cream and green|
TE photo 2003
first Caldwell County Courthouse was erected on this site in 1848, when
the county was organized and named for Mathew Caldwell, a Texas Ranger and signer
of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It was replaced in
1858 by a 2-story limestone edifice, measuring 65 feet by 40 feet, with
six offices and two rooms for storing records. By 1893, that building had
become too small for a growing county.
In April 1893, Judge George W.
Kyser and commissioners J. H. Jolley, g. A. McGee, C. R. Smith, and R. A. Tiller
approved plans for the present courthouse. The cornerstone was laid by Lockhart
Lodge No. 690, A. F. & A. M., on August 15, 1893. Contractors Martin, Byrne, and
Johnston completed the building on March 19, 1894.
The 3-story structure
is built of sandstone with red sandstone trim. It displays the fine workmanship
and elaborate detail common to architecture of the period. the mansard roof is
characteristic of the second empire style that was often used for public buildings.
The courthouse is topped by a central clock tower, with additional towers at each
corner and flanking the north and south entrances. When it was built, the structure
was equipped with the latest conveniences of the day, including electricity.
Texas Historic Landmark - 1976
County centennial marker on SW corner of courthouse grounds|
COUNTY A part of
DeWitt's Colony 1825 - 1836.
A part of Gonzales County to 1848.
settlements were on Plum Creek and the San Marcos River.
6, 1848 Organized August 7, 1848
Named in honor of Mathew Caldwell, "Old
1798 - 1842
Signer of the Texas Declaration
Commander of the Texas Rangers
the county seat
on the Vogel Furniture building a couple of blocks W of the courthouse|
County Courthouse and courthouse square|
Photo courtesy of Paul Turner
capitals on the couthouse's east entrance|
TE photo 2003