Public Information Office Aracely Lazcano I PIO
County of El Paso, Texas 500 E. San Antonio I Suite 301
Monday, August 17, 2009 (P) 915.546.2000 I Ext 4106 I
I http://www.epcounty.com/ I
Lady Justice Statue to Return to the Courthouse
Court Approves Restoration Efforts
(El Paso, Texas) - In today’s meeting, Commissioners Court accepted a plan to re-install a refurbished Lady Justice statue in a suitable location at the County Courthouse after the completion of conservation and restoration efforts.
Commissioner Court authorized a committee of individuals, lead by Chief Justice David Wellington Chew, to secure funds to complete a conservation and rehabilitation effort.
Lady Justice, absent from the Courthouse for almost 93 years, has sustained substantial damage over the years. Her left hand and sword are missing as is her scale of justice.
The citizen based committee will solicit donations from the community and from the County’s Hotel Occupancy Tax funds (HOT) for the restoration and placement of the statue.
The first step in the process is performing a conditions assessment. This will guide the conservation and preservation efforts.
Meanwhile, the El Paso Community Foundation agreed to be the fiscal agent for a community fund drive similar, on a smaller scale, to the efforts made to save the Plaza Theater.
Rosemary Neill, Director of the Family and Community Services informed the court that any funds remaining from the conditions assessment will contribute toward the restoration.
The proposed site for the statue is to be mounted in a pedestal in front of the courthouse entrance.
Individuals or groups interested in making donations can contact Mr. Gary Williams, Program Officer, El Paso Community Foundation, 533-4020.
The architects designing the 1886 El Paso County Courthouse commissioned a statue, Lady Justice, to overlook the Courthouse.
The statue is unique because her face has no blindfold covering her eyes. Most statues of this type show a figure with a blindfold holding the scales of justice.
Historians and preservationists believe W. H. Mullins stamped the zinc sculpture. Mr. Mullins had a studio in Brooklyn, New York.
Some historians believe there was a companion statue made to complement Lady Justice. Lady Justice graced the Courthouse until 1917. Demolition of the Courthouse in 1917 required moving Lady Justice to a new location. Lady Justice moved to a nearby park adjacent to Liberty Hall. Lady Justice then moved into Liberty Hall. Her final home was Ascarate Park.
The Sheriff’s Department is evaluating any impact to security at the Courthouse in addition to security for this historic sculpture.