County Seat – Giddings
Built – 1897
Architect – J Riely Gordon
Style – Romansque Revival
Photos taken – February 27, 2004
Impressions/storyline –We took our first camping trip in our new travel trailer February 26 – 29, 2004. Hopefully, it will be the first of many trips around the state of Texas. One reason for entering the world of RV/camping is to be able to travel throughout Texas in the noble quest of photographing all Texas county courthouses.
We decided to take the first trip to Bastrop State Park because it was close and would make good trial the new RV & the new RV’ers. Roy and Chere caravaned with us to help, and indeed, help was needed. The trip began with an electrical problem (the wire from the electrical hitch jack was cut/shorted by the propane tanks – installation error). That was quickly diagnosed and solved – thanks to neighbor campers. There were some other mishaps I not too sure I want to share in this venue. Hopefully there were some lessons learned.
The first courthouse we visited on February 27th was Lee County in Giddings. The courthouse is striking. Red brick with white stone highlights and Romanesque touches. A clock tower, neat square, and old houses surrounding the square make a great setting for this noble building.
“The Lee county courthouse was completed on June 3, 1899. It is known as Richardsonian Romanesque architecture: Henry H. Richardson was a Louisiana-born, Harvard-trained architect who combined classic features such as columns and arches with the use of large interesting structural masses rather than details of ornamentation. The courthouse is undergoing a complete restoration to restore it to its original condition which has deteriorated over the years.”
Indeed, while we were visiting, the restoration work was noticeable, especially on the eastern side of the courthouse. You can see some of the scaffolding in the pictures.
This will, in the end, be in my top 25 courthouses. The setting and style and the color all come together as dramatically as could be planned.