New Braunfels Adds To Charm, Heritage Tourism With $8.5M+ Courthouse Restoration

Popular Texas summer vacation destination brings back 1898 Comal County Courthouse

Jan 30, 2013, 10:38 ET from New Braunfels Convention & Visitors Bureau

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New Braunfels, Texas, one the state's most popular summer vacation destinations, has added a newly restored 1898 Romanesque Revival style county courthouse to its must see attractions.  The $8.5M+ renovation of the Comal County Courthouse provides yet another visitor destination for those who visit the area year around to relax and enjoy its broad array of attractions and friendly Texas Hill Country environment.

Although it will be a working courthouse, visitors can learn all about the restoration of the Comal County Courthouse via a QR-launched Cultural Heritage Tour, "Footprints in Time," available for smart phones – text FOOTPRINTS to 45384 – or scan QR codes at the courthouse (and other downtown historical locations.) More than 60 video background and history tours in New Braunfels are included in the "Footprints in Time" application with detailed directions featuring state of the art mobile GPS navigation.

According to Comal County Judge Sherman Krause, in addition to its unique placement – on the northeast corner of the town square, rather than in the center like many other county courthouses – there are many other interesting elements about the Comal County Courthouse. A colorful palette and many large windows make the interior of the Romanesque Revival style courthouse surprisingly bright and spacious. Polished Moorish-inspired columns of pink granite topped with carved detail, tiger-striped hinges and doorknobs, the original wallpaper design restored from existing photographs, tile flooring restored from originals found on the third floor, some original casement window sashes, and an ornate cast iron vault doorway are just a few of the historical characteristics that set the courthouse apart. 

The Comal County Courthouse is a State Archeological Landmark, a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was part of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program that earned a Preserve America Presidential Award.

"Texas courthouses are so extraordinary that many people tour the state using them as the catalyst for visiting places they would never see otherwise," said Judy Young, director of the New Braunfels Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We look forward to hosting a new group of people who certainly will want to see the extraordinary restoration of the Comal County Courthouse. We know once they are here they will also enjoy the other attractions that have kept Texans coming to New Braunfels for fun and relaxation for decades."

In addition to summer visitors who enjoy the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers, Schlitterbahn water park and Canyon Lake,  visitors also come to New Braunfels year around for the live music venues  featuring up and coming as well as the stars of Texas music, the Texas Hill Country wineries – now the second most visited viticulture area in the U.S., a growing culinary scene that features great restaurants, a fabulous farmers market, gourmet food shops and traditional German foods, and a broad array of outdoor recreation, museums, galleries and special events. When you visit, don't miss:

The Huisache Grill and Wine Bar – Contemporary cuisine with fresh regional ingredients reflecting the diverse culinary influences of Central Texas (write-ups in Wine Spectator, Travel & Leisure, Texas Monthly and Southern Living.) Extensive beer and wine list with monthly special picks.

The Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar – On a bluff overlooking the Guadalupe River, nestled in towering oak trees, the restaurant housed in the old Gruene cotton gin, is on the National Registry of Historic Places, serves up thick steaks, juicy hamburgers, and Texas fare like chicken fried steak and fried catfish. 

Myron's Prime Steakhouse – On location in the old Palace Movie Theatre in historic downtown New Braunfels, Myron's boasts Chicago prime beef (the top 2% of all prime beef in the United States), a full bar and an extensive wine list. Wine down hour everyday from 4-6:30 pm.

Dry Comal Creek Vineyards and Winery – Award-winning "Texas Style Wines," Texas pioneer on Black Spanish wines.  Hosts "Winery U" featuring wines from around the world, a non-pretentious learning experience covering everything from winemaking to food-and-wine pairing in a fun, entertaining way.

Gruene HallRadney Foster, Joe Ely, Jerry Jeff Walker's Texas Bash, and so on and so on – live music seven days a week, with two bands most Saturdays and Sundays.

Whitewater AmphitheaterRay Wylie Hubbard's 4th Annual Grit N Groove Festival is one of many great upcoming shows.

Guadalupe State Park – Along a nine-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River visitors enjoy canoeing, fishing, swimming, tubing, picnicking, hiking, camping, a 5.3-mile equestrian trail open to mountain biking, bird watching and nature study opportunities.

For information on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Treasures program supporting Texas Courthouses, visit

For information about the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, visit, or contact the THC's Architecture Division at 512.463.6094.

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SOURCE New Braunfels Convention & Visitors Bureau