Most people regard Goliad’s Courthouse Square with its historic buildings as the heart and soul of the town. The Square has been praised by many, including some who think it the best courthouse square in Texas. Not only do the historic buildings bring pride and pleasure to the local residents; they also are a large factor in the heritage tourism industry.
Because the Square and its historic buildings are so important to Goliad, the City of Goliad adopted an ordinance to protect the integrity of the area. The l998 ordinance established an Historic District and provided that no changes could be made to structures in the District until reviewed and approved in advance by a Board of Architectural Review. The Board is explicitly instructed to preserve the historical integrity of the structures in the District.
Over the years most owners of buildings in the District have recognized the importance of protecting it, and have cooperated fully with the Board of Architectural Review. Recently, however, some changes have been made to structures without getting prior approval of the Board. In most cases, the owner (or their tenant) simply did not know that this step was necessary. Thus the Board of Architectural Review is reminding owners and tenants in the District of the regulations created by the Ordinance.
The Ordinance established a historic district around the square and provided that it was illegal to change or demolish any structure in the district without prior approval. The changes requiring approval include any change to a structure – such as additions, alterations, changes in paint color, windows, awnings, doors, decorative items – anything that affects the building. The ordinance also regulates signs on buildings or in vacant lots, and it prohibits the placing of temporary buildings, recreational vehicles, and similar structures in the Historic District.
Owners/tenants may obtain an application for a change at the counter in City Hall; they then submit their completed application with pertinent supporting information back to City Hall. At the City Hall, they may consult the ordinance, which outlines the procedures, criteria for considering applications, possible penalties for non-compliance, and an appeals process.
The Board of Architectural Review thanks the citizens of Goliad for taking steps to preserve our historical structures which define our community, and make it one of the most attractive in the state. The Board looks forward to continuing to work with the owners in the District.
Goliad City Board of Architectural Review