architect J. Riely Gordon designed the Fayette County
Courthouse, as well as 13 other Texas county courthouses, in
addition to the state capitol in Arizona. This is Fayette
County’s fourth courthouse. On April 9, 1891, the
cornerstone for the current Fayette County Courthouse was
laid by the local Masonic Lodge. A celebration with dining
and dancing, attended by about 2,000 people, went on into
the early hours of the next day.
three-story building is a masonry and stone Romanesque
Revival structure with a clock tower rising over the main
entrance. All offices and the courtroom are arranged around
a 30-foot by 30-foot square central courtyard. The exterior
walls are built of Belton white limestone, complemented with
blue sandstone quarried at the nearby Fayette County
community of Muldoon. Red Pecos sandstone stringcourses
(decorative horizontal moldings) and pink Burnet granite
columns and steps add to the richness of the building. At
the base of the clock tower is a large stone slab on which
is carved a large American eagle. On the corners of the
tower and above the entrances are dragons carved out of the
eight ridge points. The roof is covered with Spanish tile
made from slate. The central courtyard, which was closed-in
to make space for a vault and more offices in 1949, was
reclaimed during the restoration of the courthouse.
courtroom, 85-feet by 42-feet in size, is shaped like a half
moon. The gallery can seat 500 people.
When the Fayette County
Commissioners’ Court formally accepted the new building on
December 1, 1891, the total cost was $99,407.04. Funding
for the construction was provided by the sale of 90-$1,000
bonds. In late February 1893, the courthouse was lighted
with electricity for the first time. In 1913, the basement
and the first floor was flooded with five feet of water.
The Fayette County Courthouse has been festooned in red,
white and blue in celebration of peace and memorial
occasions. The streets outside now are paved and the horse
and buggy have given way to cars, SUVs and pickup trucks.
After a complete restoration, the Fayette County Courthouse
was rededicated on June 25, 2005. It stands as a proud and
time-honored symbol of justice in Fayette County.
The Fayette County Jail is open
weekdays during regular business hours and there is no