McClennan County Courthouse
I'm drawn to courthouses, as some of you might also be. The McClennan County Courthouse pictured here, is actually the fourth courthouse constructed. Earlier buildings were built in 1850, 1856, 1877, with the present one being erected in 1901.
This striking Beaux-Arts style building towering above Washington Avenue, gleaming white in the sunlight, is purported to have been inspired by St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. I had to stand a street away in order to photograph it's entire height and the clarity is lacking, but hopefully one can grasp it's beauty. The architect was J. Riely Gordon.
The huge dome is surrounded by a series of eagles with opened-wings and placed about the rim while the Greek goddess of divine law and justice, Themes, presides at its top. She bears the scale of justice in her left hand and only the hilt of the sword in her right for she's been disarmed. A vicious storm removed the blade and it was never replaced.
The courthouse sits at 501 Washington Avenue (254-757-5000)
First Street Cemetery
Waco's first graveyard does not go without a little controversy. According to some people's recollection, the original graveyard may be covered in some portion by the Texas Ranger Museum. It is said that some of the black person's graves are not underneath the museum.
There is also reason to believe that some of the graveyard has actually washed away by the rising and falling of the Brazos River.
Although I am not a huge cemetery visitor, this one is well taken care of now, it has been around since 1852.
To find this graveyard, follow instructions to Texas Ranger Museum, and it will be just south of the museum.
Waxing Eloquent-The Armstrong Browning Library
We arrived at the elegant doors of the Armstrong Browning Library a short time after they closed for the day. How disappointing, for I wanted to delve into the psyche of one of literature's most romantic couple, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
This graceful depository for the 'world's largest collection of Browning material' was conceived by Dr. A.J. Armstrong, who became a great fan of poet, Robert Browning, while still a child.
I found the story behind the Library's conception very interesting. While touring Italy in 1909, Dr. Armstrong made it a point to meet, 'Pen' Browning, son of Robert and Elizabeth. A short stay with Pen fired Armstrong's passion to collect anything related to Robert, Sr.
Two years later Pen died leaving no heir, so the other members of the family had to auction the poet's effects to pay creditors. However, a list was kept on who obtained which item at auction and through the years these materials were traced and purchased whenever possible, for Dr. A's collection.
Dr. Armstrong donated a small batch of Browning's books to Baylor in 1918 and from that point on the collection expanded each year.
In 1943, the school's President offered $100,000 to be applied towards creating a permanent home for the growing collection if Dr. A would match it. He more than matched it and the Armstrong Browning Library was completed on December, 1951 at the cost of $1.75 million dollars.
FYI: Architects Eggers and Higgins of New York designed the main floor, The library was completed with the help of 'artisans and craftsmen under the direction of chief architect and engineer, Wyatt C. Hedrick of Ft. Worth and builder S.B. Swigert Contruction Company of Waco, Texas.'
19th century contemporaries of Browning, Charles Dickens, Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, George MacDonald and Joseph Milsand are also included in this collection of 19th century literature.
Hours are Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm and Sat. 9am-12 Noon. Admission is free.
Waco for fun
We made a stop in Waco on the way between San Antonio and Dallas.
When I watched the serie DALLAS, Waco was the city in which JR went to have fun. I have been disapointed.
We arrived around noon and we found the city as you can see on the picture (shot in front of the Dr Pepper Museum)