I’d been past the Bosque County Courthouse many times over the years, but I never thought much of it. I was aware that is had been modified in the 1930’s, and that in an earlier time, it had been a grand courthouse. I’d even seen pictures of the courthouse in it’s earlier form. But, pictures have the limitation of being two dimensional. The Bosque County Courthouse is 85 feet square by three stories tall and made mostly of limestone. It is very much three-dimensional. I just couldn’t conceptualize what the building looked like before being renovated in 1932.
Thankfully I don’t have to conceptualize anymore because the Bosque County Courthouse in Meridian was restored to it’s previous grandeur as part of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. Bosque County received a partial matching grant for courthouse restoration as part of Round IV grant funding for historic courthouse restoration. A program established by the Texas Legislature to preserve and restore historic county courthouses.
The Bosque County Courthouse was originally designed by significant West Texas architect James J. Kane and constructed in 1886. The original design featured a prominent clock tower and ornate hip roofs at the four corners of the building. By the 1930’s the clock tower and ornate roofs had deteriorated beyond repair and were removed and replaced by a modest clock tower constructed of limestone. The most recent restoration has returned the courthouse to its original design.
During the current Bosque County courthouse restoration, the ornate roofs over the corner pavilions and the central tower were fabricated on the ground and then lifted into place using a crane.
The courthouse restoration work was completed in August of 2007. If you are in this area of the state and don’t have to go too far out of your way, consider stopping by to take a look. There’s plenty of parking on the courthouse square. The Bosque County Collection operates a museum across the street from the courthouse. There are a couple good local restaurants on the square and another one up the street past the newspaper office. You can ask for advice at the museum.
Bosque County Collection
Copyright © 2008 by Sam Fenstermacher
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