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Harris County

Harris County is named for John Richardson Harris, who was an early settler in the county.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Waller County and Montgomery County

E – Liberty County and Chambers County

S – Galveston County, Brazoria County and Fort Bend County

W – Waller County

Created:  March 17, 1836                       Map of Texas highlighting Harris County

County Seat: 

Harrisburg  1836 – 1837

Houston     1837 – present

County Courthouse – Houston

Location:  301 Fannin Street / Congress Street

Built:  1909 – 1910

Style:  Beaux Arts and Classical Revival

Architect:  Charles Erwin Barglebaugh of Lang, Winchell & Barglebaugh

Contractor:  The American Construction Company ( formerly H L Stevens & Company )

Description:  The building faces west and is a six story rough cut pink colored Texas granite, limestone and light brown colored St. Louis brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Houston. The west front has a portico supported by eight Corinthian columns rising from the second to fourth stories. The first story has stone arches. On the building center is a large round dome supported by thin columns and with a green colored roof, small round Doric lantern on the top and a ring of eagles around the base of the dome. The top had a Doric lantern with a cap. The architect was Charles Erwin Barglebaugh of Lang, Winchell & Barglebaugh and the contractor was The American Construction Company ( formerly H L Stevens & Company ). The building was remodeled in 1954 to 1956. The interior plaster ornamentation, marble walls and dome skylight were ripped out or covered up and the rotunda was sealed to add more office space on each floor as were the courtroom balconies. The wood frame windows were replaced with metal ones and the exterior stairs on the east and west side were also demolished, switching the entrances from the second to the first story. The architect was Finger and Rustay. The building was restored to the original interior from 2003 to 2011. The architect was PGAL and the contractor was Vaughn Construction. The cost of restoration was $65,000,000. The building houses the First and Fourteenth Court of Appeals.

 

See:  Charles Erwin Barglebaugh also designed the courthouse in Johnson County.

 

Note:  The 11th Administrative Judicial Region has a main office in the Harris County Courthouse in Houston.

 

County Juvenile Justice Center – Houston

 

Location:  1200 Congress Street / San Jacinto Street

Built:  1952 – 1954

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Finger and Rustay

Contractor:  Manhattan Construction Company of Texas

Description:  The building faces north onto Harris County Jury Plaza and is an eight story buff colored brick, red colored granite and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Houston. The north front has a large two story glass enclosed portico with flat extended roof. The east and west sections project from the main building. On the east and west sides are vertical concrete dividers between the windows. The roof line is flat. The architect was  and the contractor was . In 2006, the building was remodeled. The architect was Morris Architects and the contractor was Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.

 

Note:  The building was constructed to replace the old courthouse and in 2006 became the Juvenile Justice Center.

 

County Civil Courthouse – Houston

 

Location:  201 Caroline Street / Congress Street

Built:  2003 – 2006

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Pierce, Goodwin, Alexander & Linville ( PGAL )

Contractor:  Vaughn Construction

Description:  The building faces west onto Harris County Jury Plaza and is an eighteen story red colored brick, concrete and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Houston. The west front has a semi-circular portico supported by eight columns and with four recessed columns and glass panel wall at the entrance. Above is a large clock. A central vertical glass section rises to the top floor with pediment at the roof line. Glass sections rise at each corner.

 

County  Criminal Justice Center – Houston

 

Location:  1201 Franklin Street / San Jacinto Street

Built:  1996 – 1999

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Pierce, Goodwin, Alexander & Linville ( PGAL )

Contractor:  Manhattan Construction Company

Description:  The building faces south onto Harris County Jury Plaza and is a twenty-two story concrete and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Houston. The south front has a central entrance with semi-circular pediment on the second story. A central vertical glass section rises to the top story with a semi-circular roof line.

 

See:  The architect,  Pierce, Goodwin, Alexander & Linville ( PGAL ) designed courthouses in Florida in Indian River County, in Louisiana in Saint Tammany Parish and in Texas in Collin County and Fort Bend County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1836 as Harrisburg County, one of the original 23 counties and Harrisburg was selected as the county seat. In 1837, the county seat was moved to Houston and the county name was changed. The first five courthouses all occupied the same plot of land, set aside by the Allen brothers specifically for the courthouse. The first courthouse was a two-story pine log building built by in 1838 by Maurice I Birdsall, who also built a log jail on the northeast corner of the courthouse square. The courthouse was enlarged in 1841, but by 1844 its deterioration led to its sale at auction and removal to Washington Road. From 1844 to 1851, court session were held in various hotels around the square. The second courthouse was a two-story brick structure designed by F J Rothaas and built at a cost of $15,000. The building was demolished in 1860, and the third courthouse was a two-story Classical structure designed by N DeChaumes and built in 1869 at a cost of $25,000. The building was demolished in 1869 and the square was used as a park until the fourth courthouse was a grand Victorian style three-story structure designed by Edward J Duhamel and built in 1883 to 1884 at of $100,000. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1909 to 1911 at a cost of $500,000. The sixth courthouse was constructed in 1952 to 1954. The County Family Law Center was constructed in 1967 to 1969. The County Criminal Justice Center was constructed in 1996 to 1999. The County Civil Courthouse was constructed in 2004 to 2006. The Jury Assembly Center constructed in the center, leads to underground assembly rooms that connect to a tunnel system that links all of the other court buildings in the area.

 

 

County Courthouse – Houston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Juvenile Justice Center – Houston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Civil Courthouse – Houston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Criminal Justice Center – Houston

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2006 and 2014