TexasEscapes.com 
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas Towns by Region
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Central Texas North
  • Central Texas South
  • South Texas
  • East Texas
  • West Texas
  • Texas Panhandle
  • Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Towns A - Z
    Over 2800 Towns

    Texas Ghost Towns
    Over 800 Ghost Towns

    Book Hotels
  • Carrizo Springs Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Carrizo Springs, Texas
    Book Here
    Texas | Buildings | Courthouses

    DIMMIT COUNTY COURTHOUSE
    County Seat - Carrizo Springs

    Book Hotel Here > Carrizo Springs Hotels

    TX - 1884 Dimmit County Courthouse
    The 1884 Dimmit County Courthouse today
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2005

    Dimmit County Courthouse

    Date - 1884
    Original Architect - J.C. Breeding
    Original Style - Italianate
    Style after 1927 remodeling - Classical Revival
    Material - Stone
    See Dimmit County Courthouse Historical Marker

    Dimmitt County Courthouse History

    By Terry Jeanson

    Although the county was officially organized in 1880, plans for the building of a permanent courthouse did not begin until the end of 1883. Alfred Giles was selected to design the courthouse, but the contractors bids for his plans were deemed too expensive. The court decided, instead, to hire San Antonio architects J.C. Breeding & Sons. After its completion in 1884, it was obvious to many that the courthouse reflected the design Alfred Giles had submitted with cost-cutting omissions, such as a tower over the main entrance on the south side. Although it canít be proven, as neither of the architectís original plans survive, J.C. Breeding & Sons most likely based their design on Gilesí plans. This led Giles to sue Dimmit County in October of 1884 and the suit was settled out of court for $400.00.

    The 1884 courthouse remained virtually unchanged for many years until the 1920s when the growing county needed a new, larger courthouse. San Antonio architect Henry T. Phelps, who had already designed courthouses in the nearby counties of Frio, Atascosa and Jim Hogg, was hired for the job in December of 1925, but instead of demolishing the old courthouse, it was decided to enlarge it. The features of the original Italianate style building, such as the hipped, mansard roof and double-gallery wood porch at the south side entrance, were removed and the north and south sides of the building were extended. The main entrance to the building was moved to the west side with the addition of four ionic columns and a recessed porch. A cornice with dentils, an entablature with St. Johnís crosses ornamenting it and a parapet over the main entrance with the county name, completed the transformation of the building to a Classical Revival style. The St. Johnís cross motif can also be seen in the upper part of the second floor windows. The center of the rear of the building and a portion of the wall inside the recessed front porch survive from the original 1884 structure. The buildingís new cornerstone was laid on September 29, 1926 and the building was completed on March 29, 1927.

    Very few changes were made to the courthouse after 1927. Some of these changes included new exterior doors, repairs to the leaking roof and the laying of terrazzo on the ground floor. In 1995, a three foot section of the deteriorating cornice fell from the roof over the north side entrance. This resulted in an emergency repair grant from the Texas Historical Commission in 1997. An inspection of the building at that time revealed many problems due to age and improper maintenance. In February of 2002, the county was awarded a grant from the Texas Historical Commission for $2,403,913.00 for the restoration of the courthouse to its 1927 condition. The work was completed and the courthouse was rededicated on November 18, 2004.


    Terry Jeanson, July 26, 2008
    Sources: Master Plan for the Restoration of the Dimmit County Courthouse by Frank Architects, Inc., Laredo, Texas, March 2000.
    Dimmit County Courthouse, Carrizo Springs, Texas vintage photo
    Dimmit County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
    Photo courtesy TXDoT
    1884 Dimmit County courthouse  before remodeling, Carrizo Springs, Texas
    The 1884 Dimmit County Courthouse before the 1927 remodeling. Photo courtesy THC, circa 1900
    TX - Dimmit County Courthouse Historical Marker
    Dimmit County Courthouse Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2005
    TX - Dimmit County Courthouse
    Dimmit County Courthouse back view
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2005
    TX - Dimmit County Courthouse  1926 cornerstone
    The 1926 cornerstone
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2007
    More Texas Cornerstones
    TX - Dimmit County Courthouse columns
    Ionic columns at the front entrance
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2007
    TX - Dimmit County Courthouse District Courtroom
    The restored District Courtroom
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2007
    Dimmit County Courthouse detail
    Dimmit County Courthouse detail
    Photo by John Troesser, 2002

    See Carrizo Springs, Texas
    More Texas Courthouses

    Related Topics:

    Texas
    TE Online Magazine
    Texas Architecture
    Texas Towns


    Book Hotel Here:
    Carrizo Springs Hotels
    More Hotels

    Custom Search
    Book Hotel Here - Expedia Affiliate Network

    CITY SEARCH


    Carrizo Springs Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Carrizo Springs, Texas
    Book Here

    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright ©1998-2013. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved