FORT BEND COUNTY, TX – The long awaited Fort Bend County Courthouse restoration is scheduled to be substantially complete by Thanksgiving of this year. The newly restored courthouse will house the offices of the Fort Bend County Judge and County Attorney; and will also be the location of Commissioners Court meetings every first, second and fourth Tuesday of each month.
The original building with its distinctive three story rotunda was designed by C. H. Page and Brothers in 1908 and features a mix of brick and stone, with turrets and a copper dome, mosaic-tile flooring and green glazed-tile wainscoting. Two additions were made to the original structure-one in 1935 and the other in 1957.
This process began in May of 2011 when Fort Bend County applied to the Texas Historical Commission for a planning grant. The County was awarded $296,362 to cover the costs for the design plans for the restoration.
The construction phase of the rehabilitation began in January of 2013 and included the removal of the 1957 addition of the two one story additions on either side of the Liberty Street entrance and will restore the building to its 1935 appearance. Great care has been taken to preserve the original beauty of the landmark including the restoration of original paint colors and the refurbishing of the original windows that shed light from all sides of the building. The original terrazzo floors have been carefully restored wherever possible.
Construction to update the functionality of the courthouse included updating the heating and cooling systems, installing fire control sprinklers, and replacing old roofing systems. The copper cladding on the dome was found to be in good shape, requiring only the sealing of joints and an acid wash to recondition the patina. The building was also updated for modern wiring and electrical components and data to support county operations.
The total cost of the project is $5.8 million. Outside of the small planning grant awarded by the State, The George Foundation generously contributed $2 million to the restoration and will be recognized in the foyer of the landmark for their longstanding support and contribution to Fort Bend County and its rich history.
The County Judge and County Attorney are scheduled to move in during the first week of December. The traditional employee Christmas Tree lighting will once again take place in the Courthouse on the 13th. An official grand opening will be scheduled for early January.