County Seat – Gainesville
Built – 1911
Architect – Lang & Witchell
Style – Beaux-Arts
What a gem. Seems like I say that a lot about the county courthouses in North Texas – but it’s true. This is a terrific representation of that style from early in the 19th century that is know as beaux arts. Outside, the terra cotta design work is detailed and impressive. Going inside – and bam – there it is again. That stained-glass rotunda this time period is so well-known for. Similar to Johnson County, with its narrow 5 story atrium rising straight up, it may not be as dramatic but it makes up for it in style. The detail ‘dripping’ from the upper reaches of the tower is pure magic. And throughout the building — look up. You will see details everywhere. Enjoy the trip through this wonderful courthouse.
This courthouse is fully restored. In doing the restoration, the stained glass dome had to be recreated. The original was taken out years earlier and lost forever. There was no design documentation available, so other period courthouses were studied and the resulting dome is a representation of what would have been designed and installed in 1911. I think they did a terrific job in the recreation and it is certainly representative of the early 19th century beaux arts style.