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Wilde About Texas: Fayette County Courthouse
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For more than two decades. Ken Jurecka has looked out the door of his barber shop and seen the center of Fayette County political life.
"Some say you get the rumor in the barber shop. Some say you can take it to the bank, but everybody has their opinion. Some say beauty shops are where to go," Jurecka said.
And for generations, the courthouse square has been the place to be. Businesses there hope to capitalize on people coming to the county seat.
"Twice a month you have county court and then you have district court here,” Jurecka said. “So we bring a lot of out-of-towners in from different places."
Highways and big box stores have shifted much of the commercial traffic away for the square.
"When I first came in here we had a lot of 'mom and pops,' Perry's, Ben Franklin, Westin Autos and that all centered around the courthouse," Jurecka said.
Those businesses have been replaced with shops that cater to tourists who stroll around soaking up the small town charm.
"They have so many attractions right on the square they walk. They don't have to drive to go see four different historical deals," Jurecka said.
But it's the history of the courthouse that ties the downtown together. Recently restored to its 1891 glory, the Romanesque Revival Courthouse features an interior atrium, a bald eagle carved in stone and the building is surrounded by historic trees.
"The history in the oak trees, you see the size of them, there's a lot of history in them trees there," Jurecka said.
The restoration of the Fayette County Courthouse was completed in 2005.