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On January 1, 1993, onlookers watched as most of the historic Hill County Courthouse was razed by an electrical fire. By the time firefighters were able to get the fire under control, only four limestone walls were left standing. The building’s 70-foot-tall bell tower had collapsed, leaving the 1,525 pound bell, cast in Baltimore, on the ground of the district courtroom. Discussions of restoring the historic courthouse began immediately, and within 10 days of the fire, a county wide meeting was called to put a funding action plan into place.

Hill County Courthouse - fire - Architexas - hillsboro texas

Hill County Courthouse - after fire - architexas - hillsboro texas

Hill Councty - After Fire - Architexas - Hillsboro Texas

Architexas prepared the documents for the reconstruction of the building by using fragments remaining from the fire and a few historic photographs provided by long-time Hill County residents. The project utilized ISTEA funds, and once the County Judge got involved in the fundraising, it became a catalyst for the development of the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP). The restoration involved multiple phases of construction due to funding shortages, and despite help of local talents like Willie Nelson and the Former First Lady Laura Bush, took over six years to complete. The fully restored courthouse was dedicated on April 24, 1999, with Former President and then Texas Governor George W. Bush as the keynote speaker.

Hill County Courthouse - Architexas - Hillsboro Texas 2

Hill County Courthouse - Courtroom - after fire - architexas - hillsboro texas

Hill County Courthouse Hillsboro Texas-architexas-courtroom

Hill County Courthouse Hillsboro Texas-architexas

Today, exactly 19 years since the Hill County Courthouse dedication, downtown Hillsboro continues to flourish. As one of the original participants in the state’s Main Street Program, Hillsboro is now home to several historic districts and is dedicated to preserving not only the courthouse, but the historic buildings on the courthouse square as well. The town continues to serve as an example to others looking to revitalize their historic downtowns.

Since the completion of the Hill County Courthouse restoration, Architexas has completed 18 Master Plans, 16 full restorations and has helped obtain over $70 million in funding for our clients.

You can view our most recent courthouse projects here.