Second Empire architectural style can be seen when viewing this courthouse. It is a style characterized by the use of a mansard roof, pavilions, elaborate ornament and strong massing. This was a style most popular between 1865 and 1900 notably used in public buildings as well as some commercial and residential structures.
The pictured Caldwell County courthouse was built in 1894 and is located in the county seat of Lockhart, Texas, formerly known as Plum Creek.
In the late 19th century the railroad arrived in Lockhart bringing with it economic growth. As it became a regional shipping center for local cotton the economy boomed and ushered in the establishment of other business.
Today it holds several claims to fame including the oldest operating public library and the title “Barbecue Capital of Texas” bestowed on it by the Texas Legislature in 1999.
Does this courthouse look familiar to you? You may have seen it in a film. Located only thirty miles south of Austin, it has played host to several films including:
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
Where the Heart Is
Waiting for Guffman