There is no denying the the buildings of today can not hold a candle to the ornate and detailed buildings of the early twentieth century and before. Not only do modern builders not usually have access to the craftsmen for such work, but usually property owners can not afford the extravagance of the custom trim work. Maybe the designs are just too old fashioned.
It is without doubt that those souls who have protected and preserved the buildings of yesteryear are visionaries working for the greater good of their communities. The extra care and money it takes to return those old buildings to their former glory is daunting. In many cases it would be cheaper and easier to tear down old buildings and start again. Thankfully, some of our lovely old buildings around town have been saved from the wrecking ball and can still be cherished and appreciated today. Examples of these are the current City Hall (originally a post office, then the city library) located at 201 N. Davis and the Hopkins County courthouse which is the jewel of the square.
But these were not the only gorgeous gems that Sulphur Springs had to offer. My favorites of our lost buildings, of which I am aware, are the Carnegie Library and the First National Bank building.
Carnegie Libraries were built around the United States with money donated by Andrew Carnegie in an effort to make educational resources available to the masses. Sulphur Springs was lucky to have one of these structures. The Carnegie donation of $12,000 granted on April 10, 1909, inspired citizens to make personal annual pledges to fund the library. The building was completed in 1910 but has since been razed. Although WikiVisual says it is the current City Hall, it is not. I do know the building was still standing in 1955, but I do not know when it was torn down.
J. Riely Gordon was a nationally prominent architect who designed such important and well known structures as the Ellis County Courthouse located in Waxahachie, Texas, as well as the Hopkins County Courthouse pictured at the top of the post. The First National Bank building of Sulphur Springs was designed by J. Riely Gordon and stood opposite the Hopkins County Courthouse on the corner of Church and Jefferson until it was razed.
Other historical buildings that are now gone forever include:
A large number of downtown buildings have been razed, fallen down or burned through the years. Buildings such as the Opera House, the jail, the original courthouse, old schools and college buildings are rarely mentioned, much less seen in photographs. Maybe their usefulness had gone, making it okay to lose them. So for the relics that have survived and been reinvented and repurposed, we should be thankful.