Once described as the “finest temple of justice” in Texas, the 1910 Harris County Courthouse was restored to its graceful youth thanks, in part, to the talented people at Beaubois.
Built a hundred years ago, this imposing building with its huge dome and Corinthian columns will shed the ravages of time and the personality-altering renovations that included replacing the light-giving rotunda with floors and offices in the 1950s and recover its former glory.
One of the highlights of this adventure is the rebirth of two courtrooms sacrificed several years ago. Using 21st century techniques, Beaubois recreated the benches used for public seating by copying the minutest details of the only bench remaining that dates back to 1910. This bench, dear to the hearts of local citizens, was studied in depth as it is rich in detail and the shop drawings, one of Beaubois’ strengths, must be absolutely accurate. In essence, the team created a sculpture and its members are totally enthralled by the work involved in producing this unique piece.
Beaubois also produced the judges’ benches that dominate these two courtrooms as well as in the built-in personal furniture for the judges and lawyers who have their offices in the building.
As far as the other architectural woodwork elements go, Beaubois cannot rely exclusively on the architect’s plans because, in 1910, the masonry walls were parged by hand which creates the illusion that the wall is straight when, in fact, it varies in thickness from one point to the next. The site surveys are therefore of prime importance in ensuring that each piece blends perfectly into the decor.
The Harris County 1910 Courthouse is already considered a major tourist attraction, so you can bet that, restored to its former glory, this building will become a must-see for every tourist interested in history.