square in Linden, is the oldest continuously used courthouse in Texas. ... The original brick structure, built in 1859-60 is encased on two sides by additions occurring cast the turn of the century, in 1917, and following a fire in 1933."
Here's a portion of the Cass County Conservancy's grant application to the Texas Historical Commission for restoration funding.
"Although the courthouse began life as a Greek Revival structure, it was not until 1917 that the building received the enlarged porticoes on north and south and some of the other high-style Doric elements it bears to this day. In 1917 and 1933, Stewart Moore and Fred Halsey, a collaborative team of designer-engineers then working in Texarkana, guided enlargements to the building. After a devastating fire in 1933 gutted the upper middle of the building, Halsey returned to design and install a robust steel and concrete truss system -- an impressive structural feature which served to stabilize the courthouse. As of today, the building's historic 1934 fabric remains intact and
fully recoverable, and our grant application to the Texas Historical Commission seeks full restoration to the courthouse design of 1934."
Good news followed. "As one of 47 grant applications to THC in November 2007 requesting Round V funding, Cass County was awarded a $4,404,765 grant toward the nearly $5.2 million project. Cass County Judge Charles McMichael was notified by THC that the county received the full amount requested in its application for funds for the restoration of the courthouse. ... The restoration of the Cass County Courthouse will begin in 2009 upon completion
of the new county annex being constructed on Texas Highway 8 in Linden. The annex will house courthouse staff and other county offices during the estimated three year renovation of Texas oldest operating courthouse."
The grant was approved and design was followed by construction, beginning in 2009. The 5.2 million dollar project is now complete. Rededication took place a week ago, on February 18, 2012. Point of interest: the dedication ceremony featured a keynote address by none other than Cass County's hometown celebrity, Don Henley. (google him if you don't know who he is)
I intend to visit Cass County this year, during a swing through northeast Texas. Perhaps I'll meet Don...