It's been fifteen years in the making, but later this afternoon Judge Chad Everingham is slated to make history by conducting the first judicial hearing in at least 44 years in the restored Harrison County Courthouse across the street from the federal courthouse.
The courtroom in which Judge Everingham will conduct the hearing will be the showpiece of the historic 1901 Harrison County Courthouse, constructed by the citizens of Harrison County at the turn of the last century.
the third on this site, was designed by noted Texas courthouse architect J.
Riely Gordon and served as the seat of county government until 1964, when a new
courthouse was built across the square. In many ways, it is a miniature of the Texas Capitol, with an elaborate rotunda and dome, complete with the glass block floor that the Texas Capitol lost in a 1936 removation. The courtroom is also related to another state capitol, incidentally. In 1901 Gordon also designed the Arizona Territorial Capitol, still in use as the Arizona State Capitol, and the interior details of that building's House and Senate chambers served as important references for the similar district courtroom in the Marshall building, which had been divided into nine rooms across two floors after losing its balcony in a 1960's renovation. After the county moved out in 1964 the old courthouse then served as home to the
Harrison County Historical Museum for over thirty years before being closed for
renovations which began in 1999 after five years of planning and
This spring, after some fifteen years of effort on the part of interested citizens of Marshall, Harrison County, and beyond, the renovation of this building is finally concluding, and soon the executive offices of Harrison County’s government will reopen their offices here, as will other users, including the historical museum, local tourism offices, and local courts.
As you can tell from the workers and folding chairs, however, the renovation won't be complete for some weeks yet . The urgency of conducting a hearing here came about because both Judge Ward and Judge Davis are conducting jury trials in the two courtrooms in the Marshall federal building this morning, thus requiring Judge Everingham to borrow courtroom space elsewhere. Fortunately the restoration was far enough along that the courtroom - which contains only an unfinished bench and folding tables and chairs at the moment - could accommodate him.