Building Materials

PHOTO CREDIT: Perzel Photography

An icon in the Houston community since 1910 and currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Harris County Courthouse has been restored to its original glory.

The grand entrances to the Harris County Courthouse, marked by massive granite steps, were removed in 1954, changing the entrance from the second level to street level. With the current renovation, the east and west steps are restored in their original location and material. Key to success for this project was matching the color and finish from the initial construction.

In order to achieve a similar consistency and texture to that of the original stone, Coldspring finished the new granite by hand, using essentially the same tools and techniques as in the early 1900s.

For the exterior walls, a custom rock pitch finish was applied to 1,782 square feet of the new stone to match the weathered, rugged appearance of the existing stone. The remainder of the exterior facing and the retaining walls and piers used Sunset Red® granite with a tooled finish. The east and west exterior entrance steps and the bottom treads at existing north and south entrances used treaded Sunset Red® granite.

One of the additional challenges on this project was that Coldspring was asked to provide granite slabs in the same dimensions as the original pieces. This called for tooling granite slabs as much as 8 feet long, not a typical length in today’s projects. The total amount of Sunset Red® granite provided for this project was 4,278 square feet.

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