Bell County Courthouse of 1884
The Bell County Courthouse of 1884 is one of Texas’ oldest and most impressive landmarks, visible for several miles. The original design, created by prominent Austin Architect Jasper N. Preston and Sons, was formulated in the Renaissance Revival style. Through the years, many unkind modifications to both the interior and exterior occurred, including the removal of the spectacular six-story clock tower. In the late 1990s, the County and citizens decided that a restoration and rehabilitation was critically needed. The County had to temporarily relocate their operations due to the substantial scope of work.
The architectural team guided the county through two major projects. The first project involved the adaptive re-use of an older, downtown industrial building complex to function as the temporary relocation facility for the courts and as the future annex once the historic courthouse was completed. Following this project, the courthouse exterior restoration and interior preservation was performed, including re-purposing many historic spaces for the current county government operations. A federal ISTEA grant was secured for the spectacular clock tower reconstruction, one of the largest in North America. Other important upgrades and restoration elements, such as all new wood windows, limestone restoration, and all new MEP systems, courtroom preservation and high-tech tele/data/security/fire safety systems were integrated.
The restored historic landmark has been featured in many publications and has acted as a catalyst for the downtown Belton historic mainstreet revitalization work.
(This project was completed by TWC Architects prior to joining Lord, Aeck & Sargent.)