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Texas Land Title Association renews commitment to helping save historic Texas courthouses
Sep 01, 2011 | 259 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUSTIN, Texas—With more historic county courthouses than any other state, Texas is privileged to house more than 235 temples of justice that are at least 50 years old. The Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) award-wining Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program has enabled the complete restoration of more than 50 of these structures, but the continued support of the Texas Land Title Association (TLTA) ensures these beautiful buildings maintain their newly restored glory.

Now in its sixth year of commitment, TLTA has provided grants enabling the THC to offer its successful Texas Courthouse Stewardship Workshop program. TLTA has recommitted a generous grant for the 2012 workshop, renewing its support to this unique public/private partnership that provides needed training and technical assistance to newly restored historic county courthouses.

“Texas Land Title Association members are proud to continue this partnership with the Texas Historical Commission in preserving historic county courthouses,” says Phyllis Mulder, president of the TLTA Board of Directors. “As guardians of the records and deeds of ownership of home and property, historic county courthouses deserve to be protected and the Courthouse Stewardship Workshop program creates a public-private partnership to help accomplish this goal.”

The Texas Courthouse Stewardship Workshop program was created in 2005 to provide training and maintenance guidance to counties with courthouses recently restored through the THC’s Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. As a component of the workshop, TLTA recognizes counties displaying exemplary stewardship of their historic courthouses with awards of honor. Bosque County was a recipient of a 2011 TLTA Texas Historic Courthouse Stewardship Award of Honor thanks to the foresight of local officials. Following the Victorian Gothic Revival style courthouse’s restoration in 2007, the county established a designated budget for maintaining the historic courthouse, while custodial staff developed an innovative computerized maintenance management system.

“Following its remarkable restoration, we were determined to safeguard our beautifully restored courthouse by ensuring it did not fall back into disrepair,” said Bosque County Judge Cole Word. “Utilizing the guidance provided by the Texas Historical Commission and the support we’ve received through the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Workshop program, we hope to serve as an example to other counties as they plan for the maintenance of their recently restored historic courthouses.”

The courthouse stewardship workshops are a beneficial facet to the THC’s Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. Since its inception in 1999, the program has awarded $227 million to counties, and local governments have matched this with more than $150 million. The result has been the creation of more than 8,579 jobs and more than $19 million generated in local taxes. In 2008, the program earned national attention with a Presidential Award from the White House.

“As the number of courthouses restored through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program continues to grow, so does the significance of our partnership with the TLTA,” said Mark Wolfe, the THC’s executive director. “The Courthouse Stewardship Program has established a model for preservation maintenance, continuing education, and professional development, exemplifying the dedication counties commit to saving the real stories of the beautiful historic courthouses that anchor downtown squares throughout the Lone Star State.”

To learn more about the TLTA visit www.tlta.com. For more information on the stewardship workshops and the courthouse program, contact the THC’s Architecture Division at 512.463.6094 or visit www.thc.state.tx.us.
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