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Courthouse Square named Great Places in Texas 2023 by American Planning Association

The Texarkana Federal Courthouse and Post Office has been awarded the prestigious American Planning Association ‘Great Place in Texas’ for 2023 during an awards ceremony held in Austin on March 26th recognizing its historic significance and unique charm.

To be eligible for this award, a space must meet several criteria. It should enhance the quality of life in the community, incorporate and preserve natural systems, serve as a central hub for community engagement and economic activity, cater to a diverse population, promote community health, serve as a regional focal point, and demonstrate a broad spectrum of participation and community involvement in event planning and hosting. It qualifies on ALL metrics!

Built in 1931, the courthouse is the second most photographed federal courthouse in the United States and the only one to span a state line. Visitors from around the globe flock to the square to capture photos straddling the border, symbolically standing in two places at once. Surrounded by other iconic places undergoing renovation, the Courthouse Square is a key driver of downtown revitalization. Its unique blend of history, culture, and community make it a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike.

Recent infrastructure and rehabilitation projects have transformed the Texarkana Courthouse Square into a hub of community events and economic activity. Events such as Oktoberfest, Dine on the Line, Health Fair on the Line, Juneteenth Celebration and Parade, Texarkana Farmers Market, and Food Truck Fridays have made the square a vibrant center of cultural and social life.

The revitalization effort, which began in 2021, was driven by Strategic Doing, with the original Strategic Doing question of “What would it look like if the Texarkana Federal Courthouse; Post Office was an award-winning public space?”. This question sparked a journey of imagination and planning, inspiring stakeholders to envision a revitalized, vibrant space that not only honors the area’s history and significance but also serves as a beacon of community pride and a catalyst for economic and social revitalization. 

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Funding for the project, totaling $1,442,407, came from multiple sources, including contributions from both Cities, the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, the Patterson Troike Foundation, and Texas Commission on the Arts. The collaboration between regional, state, and federal entities was instrumental in the successful revitalization of the courthouse square.

A grateful community extends a sincere THANKS! to all involved – and CONGRATULATIONS on an amazing outcome that benefits us all!

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