County Seat – Sulphur Springs
Built – 1894
Architect – J. Riely Gordon
Style – Romanesque Revival
Date Photographed – 12/10/12
What a terrific courthouse! This one has it all – at least in this style. If your into the heavy Romanesque style that was very popular in the late 1800’s, this one has to rank as the gem of the lot. First – the setting. Though Sulphur Springs is quite a busy town – with lots of traffic, the courthouse sits on a very large square/plaza – that has been developed into something very close to a park. It is currently being developed even further – but what is already there should leave most others feeling a little short. Hopkins County has done a great job creating a setting for it’s courthouse.
The courthouse has been renovated, and could very well belong in the final ‘Top Ten’ list for great Texas County Courthouses. And if not the overall Top Ten, at least it may well be J. Reily Gordon’s best and the best Romanesque Revival courthouse. When making that list to visit the best of the best – you shouldn’t miss the Hopkins County Courthouse.
Outside – the two color brick is very effective. There is a lot of terra cotta decos all over the building. The tower is massive – yet airie. There are turrets all over. You can go on and on. Inside – you have to remember the Romanesque style does not promote the high, light-filled lobbies that were to be coming up in later stlyes with the domes and stained glass. Instead, you get a fairly dark interior, closed in – with heavy wrought iron staircases. All of the Romanesque courthouses seem to have this feel – probably due to the massive support need for those heavy towers. But all is not lost inside – there’s wonderful tile flooring. And the courtroom is the opposite of the building style – it is open, light. The courtroom has nice touches around the support and corner areas – it has the balcony, bench seating, and the wood judges bench – under a very large arch with windows behind the bench.