Historic restoration of old Taylor County Courthouse underway

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – On Thursday afternoon, a group of construction company representatives met at the old Taylor County Courthouse to develop plans and bids for its historical remodeling.

“It’ll be a beautiful sight, as opposed to being an old beat up building,” said Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls.

Taylor County received a grant from the Texas Historical Commission to help preserve and restore the old Taylor County Courthouse to the way it originally looked when it was built in 1915.

“The first phase is going to be to remove all the non-historic materials, walls, ceilings, partitions, finishes, so that we can actually see the condition of the historic materials,” said Architexas Project Manger Susan Frocheur.

“Phase two, which is actually restoring the building to its original appearance,” said Texas Historical Commission Architect Eva Osborne.

Frocheur says while there is a lot of work to be done on the outside of the courthouse, the majority of the construction to be on the inside.

“On the interior there will be a lot of changes because there was a lot of modifications that were done over the past 20-30 years,” said Frocheur.

Those involved with this project say restoring the courthouse to its former glory has the potential to have a positive impact on the City of Abilene and its citizens.

“Inspire businesses to fix their buildings, and to relocate here, and hopefully influence more activity,” said Osborne.

“When this preservation is done, the citizens will have the place, to come to this courthouse, after hours, and sit outside the courthouse, and gather on the courthouse square,” said Judge Bolls.

According to Judge Bolls in about 2-3 years when the restoration is complete, the building will be a fully functioning courthouse again. Once that happens the offices that used to be in the courthouse will move back in, including his own.

“This courthouse is a link to our past, it’s a link to our present, and it’s going to be a link to our future. All of those things are important for us as citizens of this county. To know and understand who we are, what our history was, what our history is going to be,” said Judge Bolls.

Almost 2 years of planning went into to Thursday’s meeting. Construction companies will be able to develop their plans and bid for this project until Feb. 11, at 2:00 p.m.

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