Preservation in Practice: Restoring the 1931 Jefferson County Courthouse

  • Fondren Hall, St. Paul's United Methodist Church 5501 Main Street Houston, TX, 77004 United States

Preservation Houston presents the first program in a new series, "Preservation in Practice: Restoring the 1931 Jefferson County Courthouse," at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 20, in Fondren Hall at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 5501 Main Street at Binz.

Architect, author and photographer Gerald Moorhead, FAIA, and Sandra Bauder of Shepley Bulfinch will present an illustrated lecture on their work restoring the 1931 Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont, one of Texas' most outstanding examples of Art Deco design.

Jefferson County Courthouse (1931, Fred C. Stone and Augustin Babin) / photo © Gerald Moorhead, used with permission

Jefferson County Courthouse (1931, Fred C. Stone and Augustin Babin) / photo © Gerald Moorhead, used with permission

Celebrated as the "Million Dollar Courthouse" when it was built, the 14-story skyscraper was known for the richness of its materials and extensive ornamentation inside and out. Topped by a spire reminiscent of the Empire State Building, the courthouse features original bas-relief limestone sculpture, aluminum and Benedict nickel grilles and hardware, inlaid wood furniture and etched glass light fixtures.

Moorhead and Bauder will show before and after images and explain their work restoring the courtrooms, lobby, corridors and public clerk's offices to their 1931 appearance along with rehabilitating the towering building's exterior.

Admission to Preservation in Practice is free for Preservation Houston members and members of St. Paul's United Methodist Church. Admission is $5 for the general public.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Fondren Hall on the second floor of the Jones Youth Building at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main Street (the Jones Building is located just north of St. Paul’s sanctuary).

Free parking is available in St. Paul’s lot on the northeast corner of Fannin and Binz (enter on Binz). Accessible parking spaces are located in the 5500 block of Fannin behind the church. St. Paul’s is also a short walk from MetroRail’s Museum District station.

If you have any questions, please e-mail or call (713) 510-3990.