Ward R. Burke U.S. Courthouse, Lufkin, TX
Location: 104 N Third St, Lufkin, TX 75901
The Ward R. Burke Courthouse in Lufkin, Texas is significant because it is an excellent example of Neo-Classical architecture in a small Federal building; it is a contributing building in the Calder Square Historic District in the Central Business District; and it is a continuing symbol of the Federal presence in Lufkin.
The simple brick building exhibits the Greek elements of Doric columns supporting an unenriched architrave at its main entry. Simple windows with unembellished limestone lintels are reminiscent of the Renaissance Revival style. The combination of elements is characteristic of the Neo-Classical style of architecture.
Several buildings in the Central Business District of Lufkin are of historic significance, and preservation of these buildings is important to the community. The Ward R. Burke Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with other buildings in the Calder Square section of Lufkin.
The Federal presence has always been strong in the community of Lufkin. Even prior to becoming incorporated as a city, Lufkin received Federal recognition through the creation of a Post Office. The city was incorporated in 1882 during a "timber boom" period in east Texas. The present courthouse was built in 1935 under the auspices of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Louis Simon, Supervising Architect. After the passage of the Public Buildings Act of 1926, there was an increase in the construction of Federal Buildings in the United States. Public building construction was expanded in the 1930s to provide jobs during the Depression. It was during this period that the courthouse was built. Originally designed for use as the main Post Office for Lufkin, the interior of the building was reconfigured in 1988 for use solely as a courthouse. Though its original function has changed, the building continues to serve as a symbol of the Federal presence in Lufkin.
- Architect: Louis A. Simon
- Construction Dates: 1935
- GSA Building Number: TX0126ZZ
- National Register of Historic Places Landmark Status: National Register Listed