The Texas Historical Commission - Historic Courthouse Preservation Program
The award was announced in June 1999 and provides partial matching grants to Texas counties for the restoration of their historic county courthouses. Since its inception, the program has awarded $227 million to counties; and local governments have matched this with more than $150 million.
As a participant in the program, the San Augustine County Courthouse received more than $3.86 million from the Texas Historical Commission
Courthouse restorations have generated more than 8,579 jobs throughout Texas and more than $19 million in local taxes. The 81st Texas Legislature included $20 million in bond funding for Round VI of the nationally recognized program and additional rounds are millions in bond funding for Round VI of the nationally recognized program and additional rounds are dependent upon continued funding from state lawmakers.
The Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program's accomplishments have garnered national and international attention, with honors from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Association for Preservation Technology and the Texas Society of Architects. In 2008, the program was recognized with a Presidential Award from the White House. The successful program has also partnered with the Texas land and Title Association for the past three years to offer a series of stewardship workshops that provide training to ensure the restored structures are maintained, preserved and do not fall back into disrepair.
For more information regarding the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, visit www.thc.state.tx.us
San Augustine Garden Club
There is no single event that has done more to revitalize and re-energize our community than of the renovation of our county courthouse. The San Augustine Garden Club worked tirelessly to acquire commitments for over $650,000 in matching funds for San Augustine County to receive a Courthouse Preservation Grant presented by the Texas Historical Commission. I doubt that there is any other organization in rural Texas that has raised such a significant amount of money, and at the same time, educated the community to the benefits of preserving our history.
To reach their goal, club members held bake sales, conducted mass mail-out, wrote grant applications, held auctions, presented dinner theaters, and organized numerous other fundraising activities for almost a decade to secure the needed funds.
Simply stated, our county courthouse would not have been restores to its original beauty without the efforts of the San Augustine Garden Club.
Excerpt from December 4, 2010, nomination letter written for the Texas Historical Commission by: Charles Bradberry, President of the San Augustine County Historical Society
For more information about The San Augustine Garden Club, visit www.sagardenclub.org
• The San Augustine County Courthouse was re-dedicated on Saturday, November 20th
• 1927 building is constructed of Lueders Limestone and is the county's third courthouse
• The building was designed by Tyler architect Shirley Simons at the beginning of his career, the structure's stripped Classical Revival style is complimented by a green Ludowicki tile roof and matching trim.
• The District Courtroom, one of the largest in East Texas, features two story Palladian-style windows that provide ample light.
• The courthouse was restored with a $3.86 million grant through the THC's Texas Historical Courthouse Preservation Program.
The Statue – James Pickney Henderson
In 1937 a statue of San Augustine James Pickney Henderson, first Governor of Texas, was erected in front of the courthouse. Henderson arrived in Texas in the spring of 1836 and was at once sent back to the United States by President Burnet to enlist aid for the Republic.
He recruited two companies of volunteers to serve in the Texas Army, one of which he forwarded at his own expense. Returning to Texas in 1837 he was made Attorney General by President Houston, later succeeding Stephen F. Austin as Secretary of State.
San Augustine County Courthouse in the News