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Ellis County Courthouse Clock Tower by Glenna Walker

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Ellis County Courthouse Clock Tower by 

The Ellis County Courthouse was built from architectural plans created by J. Riely Gordon. The building incorporates the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style originally created by Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson and made popular in Texas by J. Riely Gordon.

For the Ellis County Courthouse Gordon used a floor-plan different from many other county courthouses in Texas of the same vintage. Many county courthouses built in this time period had intersecting halls on the first floor that created the rigidity required to support the weight of the district courtroom positioned near the middle of the building on the second floor. For the Ellis County Courthouse Gordon used a floor plan that provided an open space at the center of the building first surrounded by a staircase then surrounded by a gallery that provided access to offices and courtrooms. The large second-floor courtroom was pushed off to one side of the building so the center space was open all the way up to the clock tower. This open space at the center of the courthouse created a chimney effect. Cool air was drawn in through first floor windows toward the center of the building then straight up to the tower where hot air was exhausted out of the building.

Besides the advantage of superior ventilation, Gordon’s design incorporated a circular form which worked well with the Romanesque Revival architectural style. Turrets containing spiral stairways and balconies incorporate readily with the circular form. The building is further enhanced by the use of stone of contrasting colors. From the building’s base first gray and then pink granite are used. Red Pecos sandstone is used for accent, and cream colored sandstone is also used sparingly on a few stringcourses.

Ellis County’s courthouse is without a doubt one of the grandest old county courthouses in the Southwest. To make it even more interesting the county recently spent about eleven million dollars restoring the building. After years of restoration work, the courthouse was reopened in the fall of 2002. The restoration was so detailed that they matched the colors of the interior to those used when the building was originally built, and the county bought red sandstone for repairs from the same query that produced the stone used for construction in 1895. This is truly a good time to go see the Ellis County Courthouse!

Glenna Walker of Krue Photography is an on-location, natural light photographer in Red Oak, Waxahachie, Dallas, TX and surrounding areas, specializing in maternity, newborns, children, and families.

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  • Bootiewootsy
    Bootiewootsyover 6 years ago

    You did a good job on the sky.. Would never be able to tell it was washed out… Alot of beautiful details and textures.. Nice job.

  • Oh, thank you so much Carol :)

    – Glenna Walker

  • Susan Moss
    Susan Mossover 6 years ago

    Super detail in the building

  • Thank you Susan. Moss was my maiden name :)

    – Glenna Walker

  • Kate Adams
    Kate Adamsover 6 years ago

    Excellent Glenna details are superb!!!!

  • Thank you Kate :)

    – Glenna Walker

  • jansnow
    jansnowover 6 years ago

    Great job Glenna, I wouldn’t have known about the sky! Don’t you just love clock towers!

  • Yes Jan, this one is a beaut!!!!

    – Glenna Walker

  • webbie
    webbieover 6 years ago

    This is just Awsome…love the blends of color..great job Glenna hugzz

  • Awe, thanks so much Thelma, hugzz back :)

    – Glenna Walker

  • janeymac
    janeymacover 6 years ago

    beautiful detail, colour awesome shot !

  • PPPhotoArt
    PPPhotoArtover 6 years ago

    great shot Glenna the tones look fabulous!!!

  • Thanks so much Patricia :)

    – Glenna Walker

  • Lori Peters
    Lori Petersover 6 years ago

    Great picture, Glenna. A lovely building…

  • Thank you Lori :)

    – Glenna Walker

  • Digitalbcon
    Digitalbconover 6 years ago

    Great image! (If you hadn’t mentioned about airbrushing the sky, I wouldn’t have noticed. Thought maybe you had done some High Density Resolution work on it.)

  • Ahh, thanks so much Blair…

    – Glenna Walker

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 6 years ago

    Wow, that is a pretty elaborate clock …

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