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The 1910 Courthouse

The 1910 Courthouse was rededicated in Harris County on August 23, 2011. This courthouse will house the Houston Courts of Appeals beginning next month, and Houston is the home of two of the 14 courts of appeals in the state of Texas (the First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals). The courthouse was originally constructed in 1910 and was the center of all judicial activity in Houston. It was rededicated in 1951 as our court system outgrew the capacity of the original design of the building, and the building became the civil courts building. A substantial overhaul was made at that time and much of the building’s original beauty was lost to create a building that could house more courtrooms.

As Harris County grew, more court houses were added. Today, for example, Harris County has a criminal courts building, a civil courts building, a family courts building, and a juvenile courts building — all in a courthouse square that has a jury assembly building in the middle. Ultimately, a new civil courthouse was built, leaving the old civil courthouse empty. With the re-opening of the 1910 Courthouse, Harris County has the most functional and physically attractive justice centers in the country.

When the new civil courts building was opened in 2006, the Harris County Commissioners’ Court went to work on plans to renovate the “old” civil courthouse (now The 1910 Courthouse). A variety of plans and ideas were presented, until finally the current plan was agreed upon. Today, The 1910 Courthouse has been restored back to its original beauty of 1910. I encourage everyone in the Harris County area to visit the two courtrooms now opened. Of course, I encourage all of those called to jury service to also report to serve the citizens of Harris County.

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