Admiral Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas, via ShengYing Lin /

These 10 Towns in Texas Have Beautiful Architecture

Texas is one of the biggest states in the union and has a remarkable history and beauty. The state is well known for cowboys, barbeque, and wide open spaces, but there is a lot more to the state, including beautiful architecture.

The styles range from Victorian to American Craftsman, and these ten towns are some of the best examples in the state. From historic courthouses and storefronts to entire neighborhoods of historic homes, these towns are perfect for a walking tour through the various architectural periods.


The Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas
The Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas. Image credit: Travelview -

Fredericksburg has architectural structures unique to the Texas Hill Country. Many of the edifices are of German heritage, a nod to the German immigrants who settled in the town in 1846. The streets were wider than normal, which allowed oxen-driven carts to make a U-turn in the 19th century.

The most notable building is the Vieriens Kirche, the oldest in Fredericksburg. It was built in 1847 by German settlers on Main Street, and a replica is in the middle of Marketplatz. Historical Downtown offers The Priess/Keidel Memorial Building and the Metzger Sunday House. Sunday houses are only found in Fredericksburg and originally served as a solution between farmers and communities.


Center of town square courthouse Columbus, Texas
Center of town square courthouse Columbus, Texas

Columbus is the oldest platted and surveyed Anglo-American town in Texas. It is filled with historic buildings, and guided and audio tours will introduce you to the remarkable historic structures. The residences and commercial buildings range from the Alley Log Cabin to the Colorado Courthouse. The Alley Cabin is a simple square-notch pre-pioneer cabin built in 1836.

The Colorado Courthouse is significant because it is the third building built in the 19th century. It was constructed with brick and stucco in the late 19th-century Victorian style and finished in 1891. The Empire-designed Stafford Opera House has been standing downtown since 1886. The Second Empire design has unique architectural features, like horizontal brick banking and two-colored bricks.


Historic downtown shops in Bastrop.
Historic downtown shops in Bastrop. Image credit Philip Arno Photography via Shutterstock

Known as the Heart of the Lost Pines, Bastrop has incredible outdoor vistas and historic architecture. The Neoclassical Revival structure was completed in 1884 using 1.3 million bricks and stucco. Adjacent to the courthouse is the Old Bastrop Jail. It is a distinctive Victorian-styled structure designed in the romantic era, so it is aesthetically pleasing and functional.

The landmark First National Bank of Bastrop was built in 1889. Significant homes include the Neoclassic H.B. Combs House and the Queen Anne H.P. Luckett House. Several more historical homes with a variety of architectural styles are nearby.


Ellis County Museum in Downtown Waxahachie, Texas
Ellis County Museum in Downtown Waxahachie, Texas

Waxahachie boasts some of the best turn-of-the-century architecture in Texas. The 20th-century commercial design reacted to the ornate Victorian styles that predated it. The Roman Revival-style Ellis County Courthouse was completed between 1895 and 1897.

The Oldham Street Historic District is a new district with extraordinary homes. There is also a downtown historic district, and maps are available for driving or walking tours. Over 80 significant structures are in Waxahatchee, including the Victorian-style J.M. Alderdice House and most downtown buildings.


Downtown, Jefferson, Texas.
Downtown, Jefferson, Texas. Image credit NicholasGeraldinePhotos via Shutterstock

The annual Pilgrimage event has celebrated Jefferson's classic architecture for over 60 years. Most homes, including the Alley-Carlson House and the Federal Building, are mid-century. The 47-acre historic district has Italianate, Romanesque, Victorian, and Greek Revival styles. Notable homes include the Greek Revival Garden Oak and Homestead homes.

The beautiful House of the Seasons is a wonderful example of the transition from Greek Revival to Italianate, ca.1872. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a prime example of Gothic architecture with stained glass windows and Gothic arches. It is amazing that a town with less than 2,000 people can have many heritage structures.


Old brick building housing an antique store in Gruene.
Old brick building housing an antique store in Gruene. Editorial credit: University of College /

The quaint town of Gruene was settled over 100 years ago, and many of the original buildings can be seen in the 15-acre historic district. One of the most iconic buildings is the Gruene Mansion. Built in the late 19th century, it is a Victorian-style mansion serving as a bed and breakfast.

The Historic District comprises late 19th-century Victorian buildings and German-Colonial styles with Victorian addons. The landmark H.D. Gruene Mercantile Building, built in 1878, is a brick structure with corbelled cornices that reflects Romanesque, Richardsonian, and Classical Revival styles.


First Presbyterian Church of Brownsville, Texas.
First Presbyterian Church of Brownsville, Texas. Image credit: AF956DEA via Wikimedia Commons.

Brownsville, the southernmost town in Texas, has a distinct architectural style. It is primarily Border Brick, which blends balconies and French doors with boxy Mexican architecture and open courtyards. Mid-19th-century styles can also be seen in the revitalized downtown area.

Historic tours lead around Market Square and downtown, showcasing Brownsville's unique architecture. Notable landmarks include the Greek Revival Stillman House, Border Brick Yturria Bank, and the Spanish Colonial Gem/Lahoya. These homes and commercial buildings were built in the middle to late 19th century and have been carefully preserved.


Hood County Courthouse in Granbury, Texas
Hood County Courthouse in Granbury, Texas, By Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, File:Granbury June 2018 35 (Hood County Courthouse).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Granbury has 29 homes and two trees designated as historic landmarks. There are also 16 historical markers illustrating the many old West characters that ended up here. The oldest home is the Rylee-Aiken House, built from 1856 to 1860.

Granbury represents several architectural periods. The Nutt House Hotel is Commercial Eclectic, ca. 1899, and the Italianate Victorian Commercial First National Bank, ca.1883. Homes include the Greek Revival Nutt House, ca. 1879. Granbury is a remarkable example of Texas architecture, both commercial and residential.


Overlooking the Lockhart Courthouse, in Lockhart, Texas.
Overlooking the Lockhart Courthouse, in Lockhart, Texas. Image credit Jo Hunter via Shutterstock

Lockhart boasts three of the state's best barbecue residents and attracts many tourists and foodies yearly. However, the town also has a long and unique architectural history. The Emmanuel Episcopal Church, built in 1856, has stained-glass windows that enhance the Gothic style.

The Caldwell County Courthouse is a gorgeous building built in 1848 and replaced in 1858 and 1893. The limestone three-tier courthouse has elaborate detail and a mansard roof, reminiscent of the Second Empire design often used for public buildings. The Dr. Eugene Clark Library is another unique building. It is a remarkable example of the French Renaissance style in the heart of downtown.


Downtown Georgetown, Texas.
Downtown Georgetown, Texas. Image credit Natalia Silyanov via Shutterstock

Georgetown is home to many Victorian storefronts. It has four distinct historical sections: The Williamson County Courthouse, Belford, University Avenue/Elm Street, and Olive Street. The downtown district around Georgetown Square is 173 acres and contains Victorian Storefronts and other elegant commercial buildings.

The other three historic districts are residential. Belford contains eight blocks of Vernacular, High-Style, and Popular-Style designs. University/Elm boasts Victorian homes with "gingerbread" detailing, and Olive Street has homes ranging from Colonialism to Ranch style designs. Georgetown is one of Texas's most architecturally unique towns, and its styles range from Colonialism to Ranch.

Texas has remarkable architecture, as evidenced by these ten towns. Their styles date back to the 1800s and are tastefully blended with the Mexican and Spanish aesthetics common in the state. Lockhart and Brownsville boast grand commercial buildings, while Georgetown boasts an amazing collection of architectural styles divided into historic districts.

Like many places, Texas' buildings reflect the heritage of their town. Gruene is decidedly German, while Brownsville is predominantly Border Brick, merging two unique styles. The historic homes and commercial buildings tell the story of how the community was born, and each of them has been carefully preserved to be cherished by generations to come.

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