Up she rises : the birth and legacy of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.


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Historic county courthouses, the crown jewels of Texas architecture, are facing serious threats both physical and political in nature. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named them one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in both 1998 and 2012. The Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program has been working diligently to protect, restore and preserve the state’s sacred treasures. This thesis explores the role of the county courthouse in shaping the identity of a community and the importance of the program in safeguarding that history and standing against the rising tide of architectural homogenization. The thesis closely examines Hill, Wharton and Newton counties as the poster children for historic preservation, arguing that the intrinsic historic value of Texas county courthouses far exceeds the economic and political forces that are threatening to destroy them.



Courthouse. Texas. Preservation. Restoration. Hill County. Wharton County. Newton County.