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Courthouse bell tower, facade renovations begin

Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette accepts a check from Bob Morris, chairman of the Tyler County Historical Commission in front of the courthouse wrapped in scaffolding in preparation for renovation. Other members of the commission were on hand to celebrate the milestone in the multi-year project. (Jim Powers photo)Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette accepts a check from Bob Morris, chairman of the Tyler County Historical Commission in front of the courthouse wrapped in scaffolding in preparation for renovation. Other members of the commission were on hand to celebrate the milestone in the multi-year project. (Jim Powers photo)

By Mary Nell Rainey

Seeing the awesome scaffolding on the courthouse square is visual evidence that the restoration of the 1891 Tyler County Courthouse is underway.

The Tyler County Commissioners Court and the Tyler County Historical Commissioner are engaged in a joint effort to bring back the original look of the exterior of the 1891 courthouse.

Bob Morris, chairman of the TCHC, presented a check to County Judge Jacques Blanchett in the amount of $89,729.12, which will be used for architectural and engineering draws, a road map of events and timeline for the restoration project and a 3D rendition of the courthouse for citizens to see and track progress as the project proceeds.

Funds from the commissioner came were made possible by various fund-raising projects including the sale of courthouse commemorative knives, Courthouse Christmas ornaments, books and note cards along with the proceeds of the historical tours and gala.
The exterior renovation consists of the removal of the bell and clock tower, installation of a new roof, reconstruction and replacement of the new tower and removal of the stucco facade added to the building in 1937.

Removing the stucco will reveal the courthouse's original brick.

The project will be overseen by the Texas Historical Commission and the amazing work of local artisans who are totally commited to the history of this building and restoring it for future citizens to use and enjoy.