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100 Weatherford Street

Tarrant County Archives

Sound | 1970s

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  •  Exterior shots of the Tarrant County Courthouse 
  •  Narrator begins speaking about the history of the courthouse building and its significance to the population of Fort Worth 
  •  Helen Johnson, daughter-in-law to Judge Robert Johnson, on the development of the courthouse 
  •  Construction and design 
  •  Johnson describes how the courthouse cost her father-in-law his job as judge 
  •  Citizens’ popular perceptions of the new courthouse 
  •  Business begins 
  •  Modern heating developments in the 1910s and 1920s 
  •  1950s American flag controversy 
  •  Drinking fountain and stone forum 
  •  Discussion of the clock tower and its stoppage 
  •  A project to restore the clock tower was completed in 2012 by architect Arthur Weinman 
  •  Demolition of nearby buildings and the resilient courthouse 
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This government film documents the history of the Tarrant County Courthouse as well as its significance to the people of Tarrant County and Fort Worth, the county seat. Interviews with relatives of the building’s original brainchild, Judge Robert Johnson, are included. By the turn of the 19th century, Fort Worth had become a major center for commerce. To better serve the growing community, a larger courthouse was needed. The current Tarrant County Courthouse was completed in 1895. Modeled after the Texas State Capitol in Austin, the building is made of pink and built in the Renaissance Revival style. Locals were so outraged by the building’s cost, however, that they elected an entirely new Tarrant County Commissioners Court in 1894. Public opinion soon turned, with the courthouse eventually becoming the “prize of Tarrant County.” The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.