Tarrant County Courthouse - photos by Quentin McGrown and Lissa Willis
Tour A: Tarrant County Courthouse Tour
Thursday, November 7, 2013
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Class Code: 2
Room / Location
Grand Lobby / Convention Center First Floor
Early: $50.00 Advanced: $50.00 Full: $50.00
Byrne Construction - Title Sponsor
Hossley Lighting Associates - Supporting Sponsor
Tour Guide: Art Weinman, AIA, Arthur Weinman Architects
The Tarrant County Courthouse is the finest county courthouse in the country, and it looks the part: it is a masterwork of Renaissance Revival that was adapted for a courthouse building, and it has endured 118 years of use, abuse and reuse.
The historic restoration was designed by the joint venture of Henningson, Durham & Richardson (HDR) and Ward Bogard and Associates. Walker Construction served as the construction manager, and work was completed in 1984. Since that time, Arthur Weinman Architects has been responsible for the re-restoration of everything from first-floor building entries, roof repair, and molded plaster reconstruction, to a shot-up Second Court of Appeals, and, more recently, a complete restoration of the clock tower. Soon to come is an end to the eight-year saga to put the west elevation and lawn back in place. (The west elevation entry was dismantled in 1956 to make room for the Civil Courts Building on the west lawn, which is now being removed.)
The Courthouse is a complex building. It originally consisted of four levels, but the fourth floor office level was converted as part of the 1984 work. The building structure is “transitional,” neither antiquarian nor modern, with elements of both. Constructed as a fireproof building in 1895, it still met most code requirements for that classification in 1984.
The Tarrant County Courthouse has never been the seat of a major trial, but the east elevation porch has been used for at least one hanging: “Sparky,” one of the building’s spiritual residents and a purported horse thief, met his end at the Courthouse by public acclamation.
The tour will include brief explanations of the exterior, building construction, and the new restoration project, as well as a survey of how the building was actually built. We’ll then survey each of the four original levels and discuss the changes made to the building as part of the 1984 restoration.
2 Tickets per registrant limit
17 Seats remaining
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Thanks to all of the sponsors who are supporting Texas Architects and helping to make this event possible.