|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Courthouse on endangered list
LIVINGSTON — The Texas Historical Commission announced Wednesday that the Polk County Courthouse is one of the most endangered courthouses in the state. The 1924 building is threatened by a leaking roof, deteriorating windows, inadequate electrical service, groundwater seepage in the basement, a lack of modern fi re detection systems and the threat of falling cast stone roof balusters, THC offi cials said. The courthouse has been the scene of several trials that made national news, THC offi cials said. John McLelland designed the building in an eclectic neoclassical style and it was sited on a hill, giving it a monumental presence, much like the classical temples it sought to emulate. Over the years, the building has undergone a series of “unsympathetic renovations,” historians said. Plans are being drafted to remove the elevator that was affi xed to the exterior of the building in the 1980s. Maintenance workers say the elevator urgently needs to be replaced. Plywood paneling, low ceilings and carpet also take away from the historic design of the building. THC also said the opening of the new judicial center across the street puts the historic courthouse at a greater risk, based on their experiences in other counties that erect a new justice center. Further details on the THC announcement will be posted on the Polk County Enterprise Facebook page and its website, www.EastTexasNews.com when they are released.