In the last few days the commissioner’s court of Clay County has torn down a building on the lawn of the Clay County Courthouse, which has a Texas Historical Commission marker, that originally had been used as an outside bathroom. A few years ago they tore down a slide that was designated as a fire escape for the courthouse and was an icon in the county. Their method of doing this is to let the structure fall into disrepair until they say it is not safe and therefore must be torn down. The slide/fire escape was not in disrepair. When this destruction is done it is not put on the court agenda as they say it is “maintenance” and thus does not need to be put on the agenda. The people of the county are distressed over these actions, but the deed is already done before anyone knows anything about it. Next will be the band stand on the courthouse lawn that is used often by the citizens of Clay County.
As I understand it, the commissioner’s court obtained permission from the Texas Historical Commission to tear down this former outside bathroom with instructions that the roof tile and the brick be saved as it matches the tile and brick of the courthouse. It might be prudent for the Texas Historical Commission to inquire how and where these tiles and bricks are being stored.
If you have any suggestions of how the people of Clay County might prevent any more destruction of our historical buildings, those suggestions would be welcomed.Sandy Douthitt Henrietta