The Bell County Courthouse is located in the heart of Belton, Texas – the county seat of Bell County. The courthouse stands as a testament to the grandeur of American architecture and the rich history of the region. It even predates the Texas State Capitol at Austin. This iconic courthouse, with its neoclassical design, has served as a beacon of justice, a symbol of civic pride, and a focal point for the Bell County community for over a century.
If you find yourself in Belton, Texas, a visit to the Bell County Courthouse is a must. As you stroll through its halls or admire it from the square, you’ll find yourself transported back in time, connecting with the generations of Texans who have passed through its doors. It is a living monument to the past, a testament to the present, and a source of inspiration for future generations.
Where is the Bell County Courthouse located?
Bell County Courthouse is located in the city of Belton. It stands proud and tall in Belton’s public square. The address is 101 E Central Ave,Belton,Texas,76513.
While you are checking out the courthouse, be sure to visit the Bell County Museum located in a Carnegie Library building just a few blocks away!
History of the Bell County Courthouse
The Bell County Courthouse represents Bell County’s third courthouse building. It was built in 1884 by the architectural firm Jasper N. Preston and Son of Austin, Texas. This architectural gem was constructed at a cost of approximately $97,000, a substantial sum in the late 19th century. The same architectural firm also designed the Bastrop County Courthouse in Bastrop, Texas.
Renovations made around the 1940s to modernize the buildings significantly altered the structure. However, it was restored in 1999 to its original beauty. The iconic dome, clock tower, and statue were added during the restoration – exact replicas of those which were previously removed.
If you visit the courthouse today, you will see it in the same splendor as it was when originally built in 1885. The courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976. Learn more here.
Bell County Courthouse Architecture and Style
The courthouse’s architectural style is firmly rooted in neoclassicism, characterized by its timeless and elegant design. The Renaissance Revival design features prominent elements such as large columns, a central dome, and symmetrical facades—all hallmarks of neoclassical architecture. The use of white limestone for the building’s exterior lends it a dignified and imposing appearance.
The central dome, topped with a cupola and a statue of Goddess of Justice, serves as the courthouse’s crowning glory. The statue of Goddess of Justice, blindfolded and holding the scales of justice, symbolizes fairness and impartiality in the legal system. The three story building is very impressive and beautiful from the inside as well as outside.
Bell County Courthouse Grounds
On the grounds of the Bell County Courthouse, you will find a statue of Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas who created Bell County. He is a decorated military officer who served in the Battle of San Jacinto as well as the Mexican War. He and his wife are buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. The statue stands at the southwest corner of the courthouse.
Throughout its history, the County Courthouse has played a pivotal role in the county’s legal and civic affairs. It witnessed countless trials, hearings, and important legal decisions that shaped the community. Additionally, the courthouse served as a gathering place for social events and political rallies, solidifying its position as a center of community life.
Today, the Bell County Courthouse remains a functioning seat of justice while also serving as a cherished symbol of Belton and Bell County. Visitors and locals alike are drawn to its timeless beauty, and it continues to be a popular backdrop for photoshoots and events. The courthouse square, with its manicured lawns and inviting ambiance, is an ideal place to relax and soak in the historical atmosphere.
Related Post: 29 Terrific Things to do in Temple, Texas