Court House
Palacio de Justicia

Court House

Court House The Centre and Mills Buildings are both great examples of what El Paso can do to its historical buildings, instead of letting them rot away. But not all historic buildings actually make it. At some point they are either demolished, fall prey to a fire, and in some cases, are distastefully renovated, destroying their historic worth. Popular cities known for their great city life require great downtown areas. They tend to require the basic spaces in which people can live, shop, eat and stay entertained. El Paso does provide all of this and more, except they are scattered throughout the borderland. The time period in which the small town of El Paso Del Norte was the crown jewel of the southwest seems long ago. Although, the grandiose architecture that was once part of this small town is hard to replicate or even imagine. One of these extinct buildings is the El Paso County Courthouse, which was completed on January 20, 1886. It contained predominately renaissance inspired architecture. This three-story structure held both the city and federal offices at the time. This empire-style square structure contained symmetrical magnificence with beautiful intricacy in its detail. The building had a central dome along with semi-circle windows, accompanied by impressive towers at each end of the building. The county courthouse was held together by the striking stone quoins at each of its corners. It also held rooms with 15-foot ceilings containing pine and dark maple in the floors and walls. Sadly, this building met its end in 1917, when it was demolished due to its lack of upkeep and a small stove-fire blaze. The city of El Paso commissioned and completed its successor, known as the Trost Courthouse. This Revival-style courthouse held its own sense of grandeur, with 12 centralized, colossal, ionic ordered columns. This new city-county courthouse also held a 29,000-seat auditorium that was known as Liberty Hall.

Area: Central / Downtown

Collection: Gertrude Fitzgerald Photographs

Source: University of Texas at El Paso Library - Special Collections Department

Reference ID: PH025-3-1-047

Uploaded by: El Paso Museum of History


Add a comment
Thank you for your comment

Postcard of Courthouse in El Paso, TX.

I think Liberty Hall held 2,900 people rather than the stated 29,000 in the article.

Sadly, this building met its end in 1917, when it was demolished due to its lack of upkeep and a small stove-fire blaze.

why did we tear it down?

Report this entry

Choose the most important reason for this report

Your name

Your email address

Optional detail

Thank you for your report

More from the same community-collection

Little Caples Building

Little Caples Building in downtown El Paso, Texas. Located at ...

City Hall circa 1915, El Paso, Texas

Intersection of Myrtle & San Antonio Streets between 1910-1920. ...

Street Scene-Automobile Row

This section of North Kansas Street was known as "Automobile ...

Abdou Building

Henry Trost designed this seven-story reinforced concrete ...

Church and County Courthouse in 1890s

This picture, dating back to the 1890s, shows the County ...

Bird's Eye View of El Paso from Mesa Garden

The picture captures El Paso between 1890 and 1900. It was taken ...

The Popular Dry Good Company

The Popular department store chain, founded by Adolph Schwartz, ...

Lawmen On Horseback

Lawmen on horseback in downtown El Paso, Texas.

Street Car Downtown

A street car travels between the Grand Hotel and the El Paso ...

Local Bar In El Paso, Texas

A local bar in El Paso, Texas between 1910 - 1920.

Otis A. Aultman

Otis A. Aultman playing cards with friends, he is to the far ...

Downtown El Paso

Image of downtown El Paso between 1910-1920. City Hall to the ...

El Paso Preachers

This group of Protestant ministers includes Dr. Poe of the ...

Chamber of Commerce Anniversary Luncheon

These are the past and present directors of the El Paso Chamber ...

Southwest University Park

Southwest University Park is a stadium in El Paso, Texas. It is ...

White House Department Store

The popularity of the White House exceeded the size of its ...

Southwest University Park

Southwest University Park is a stadium in El Paso, Texas. It is ...

East San Antonio Avenue

This sign marks the corner of East San Antonio Avenue and South ...


A once beautiful building in downtown El Paso, TX.


Downtown El Paso is dotted with revival styles from the turn of ...

N. Mesa Street Downtown El Paso, Texas

Image of N. Mesa Street with sign and lamp post in downtown El ...

Kress Sign

This sign marks the location of Kress & Co. Department store at ...

Betty Moor MacGuire Hall - El Paso Texas

Photograph of the Betty Moor MacGuire Hall. The picture features ...