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Located – Blanco, Texas
Built – 1886
Retired – 1890 (election moved county seat to Johnson City)
Architect – F. E. Ruffini
Style – Victorian
The retired Blanco County Courthouse sits regally in the Blanco, Texas town square. It was abandoned by the county only a few years after being built when the county seat was moved to Johnson City. I guess the Johnson’s had a lot of sway with the county’s citizens. Of course, Johnson City was the boyhood home of Pres. Lyndon Johnson.
This retired courthouse reflects a style that was very popular in West Texas, with the mansard roof. It has a lot in common with other courthouses from the time – including the courthouses in Sonora and Ozona. The architect was F. E. Ruffini, whose courthouses all featured the Victorian highlights. Hope I got that right. Anyhow, I was pleased to met a couple who are involved in the maintenance and restoration of the courthouse in Blanco – Bob and Carolyn. They’ve shared that great pride is taken in the building and there are hopes to one day restore it to it’s one splendor. That might be a little difficult in that restoration is expensive and since this is a retired courthouse, it does not qualify for state restoration funds that have helped refurbish so many of Texas’ grand courthouses. I was also told that there is an old county jail in Blanco, as well. But that it can only be seen by walking through the Uptown Cafe on the town square. sounds like a reason to revisit Blanco.