Wilson County News June 20, 2012 3,232 views 1 comment
Analyses continue of the structural integrity and of the soil that surrounds the historic Wilson County Courthouse in Floresville. This was the subject of a brief June 18 special meeting of the Wilson County Commissioners Court.
Lyndsay Thorn of San Antonio-based Thorn+ Graves Architects said he believes that the structural deficiencies of the 128-year-old downtown Floresville landmark can be repaired. The nature and estimated cost of the repairs is yet unknown.
“The rest of the building is in sound shape,” Thorn said.
Crews are set to dig test pits as early as June 21, from which soil and bricks will be extracted and analyzed. Thorn said Acme Brick Co., with locations in McQueeney and San Antonio, has agreed to test the bricks at no charge.
Preliminary tests have revealed that years of deteriorating bricks, soil shifts, and varying moisture conditions have led to the building being 1/3 foot off plumb on the northwest corner. Thorn said when looking at the front of the building -- from Third Street -- it appears to be a 30-inch difference, which has resulted from a failure of the courthouse’s foundation.
A lack of compressive strength of the building’s bricks has caused them to become “like pumice,” he said. Similar bricks, Thorn said, were used to construct the Karnes County Courthouse, which currently sits abandoned because of structural deficiencies.
Thorn and the commissioners agreed to revisit the situation at the first commissioners court meeting of each month. He expects that all tests and reports will be completed within three months.