Paul Brown Federal Building and Courthouse
Backstory and Context
The Federal Building/US Courthouse is an example of the Renaissance Revival style of architecture, this building is an excellent example of the use of the American idiom of this post-medieval, classical style of European architecture. This building is one of the many public buildings across the nation that was designed under the auspices of the Office of the Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department. Buildings created by the Treasury department were not only designed to serve a federal function but to express the permanence of the federal government in the cities and communities which the buildings were located. The building has symmetrical arched windows on the first floor, balustraded windows on the second floor, and a stunning massive cornice. In addition to its architectural significance, the building also represents the long history of federal presence in Sherman, Texas.
The most significant event indicative of Sherman’s growth and development during this period was the construction of the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. The anticipated expansion of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas into a sixth division, which was to be located in Sherman, contributed to the movement to have a federal building constructed within the area.1 Approval for the Sherman division of the eastern district was formalized in 1903 after Congressional approval for the purchase of a site. Construction of the Federal Building began on January 16, 1906 and opened for use in late 1907. At the time, the building housed the main Post Office for the area on the first floor and the second floor contained a court room (consider restructuring). In 1962, the Postal Service moved out, and the space on the first floor was converted for use as court-related offices.
In 2014 the Federal Courthouse was renamed after Judge Paul Brown. Judge Brown graduated from Denison High School and then the University of Texas Law School. He was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, serving as a district judge for Eastern Texas. Brown then took senior status, a type of semi-retirement, in 2001 and retired completely in 2006.2
The most recent/notable hearing that sparked the news was that current Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, concluded his hearing in the Paul Brown Courthouse on Tuesday, September 5,2017. The hearing focusing on his “preliminary injunction to block the NFL’s ruling on his appeal for a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.”3 U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas agreed with Elliott’s lawyers that he didn’t receive a “fundamentally fair” hearing in his appeal heard by NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson. “The answer is he did not. The Court finds, based upon the injunction standard, that Elliott was denied a fundamentally fair hearing by Henderson’s refusal to allow Thompson and Goodell to testify at the arbitration hearing.”4
Cowlishaw, Tim. "How the Ezekiel Elliott Case Is a Win for the NFL, No Matter the Outcome in Court." SportsDay. September 13, 2017. Accessed November 27, 2018. https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-cowboys/cowboys/2017/09/13/ezekiel-elliott-case-win-nfl-matter-outcome-court
"Federal Building/U.S. Courthouse, Sherman, TX." Home. August 13, 2017. Accessed November 27, 2018. https://www.gsa.gov/historic-buildings/federal-buildingus-courthouse-sherman-tx#significance.
"Federal Courthouse Gets New Name." Herald Democrat. October 22, 2014. Accessed November 27, 2018. https://www.heralddemocrat.com/news/local/federal-courthouse-gets-new-name.
"Texas SP Sherman US Post Office and Courthouse." National Archives and Records Administration. Accessed December 06, 2018. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/40972183.