There has been an application made by an Austin non-profit group to make the old federal courthouse a housing for the homeless and have office spaces for their needs. However, this deed acquisition was denied. There was another application for the said building. The Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gomez said that the county will be the next on the list to get the old federal courthouse building deed.
More than a year later, after the voters have rejected a $287 million bond proposal for a new courthouse, Travis County has acquired the deed to the old federal courthouse. This building was declared surplus by the federal government after it has been empty because of the federal courthouse transfer. Travis County will be moving its probate court and clerks offices to the old federal courthouse building alleviating its current overcrowding. However, the original plan was to build a 538,000-square-foot courthouse on a plot of land at 308 Guadalupe that the county had purchased in 2010.
According to a news report by the Statesman, renovation of the old federal courthouse building and bringing it up to code will be reaching an estimated cost of $28 million. With that being said, the building should last from 2020 up to 2035 before any more major repairs will be needed.
The old federal courthouse building was built in 1936 and is listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Architectural details in the Depression era has been seen in the central massing, rectangular form, vertical flow of window bays, decorative metal rails and geometric details will need to be preserved. The Travis County Judge Sara Eckhardt said that the county is still seeking sites for a new civil and family courthouse.
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