By Tim Polzer
Denton Live Spring/Summer 2005
John B. Denton would be proud. More than 150 years after the pioneer lawyer and preacher’s heroic death, the past continues to inspire the present in the town that bears his name. Denton’s downtown square, where 19th century architecture and pride provide a unique centerpiece to Denton’s 21st-century lifestyle, has sustained the town’s heartbeat and legacy for residents and visitors.
Like a rock, the Denton County Courthouse has been the anchor for the Square since 1896. The courthouse’s turn-of-the-century architecture, featuring limestone walls, ornate spires, and a clock tower, has inspired locals to deem it “the most picturesque pile of rocks in North Texas.” And a stroll through the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum provides a fascinating glimpse at the area’s history.
The courthouse stands tall over the Square’s modern selection of more than 130 eclecticshops, antique and art galleries, unique restaurants, and live entertainment venues including the renovated Campus Theatre.
When the lights go out on the Campus Theatre’s marquee, life doesn’t stop on the Square. A new assortment of loft-style residences has turned the hub into a 24-hour place to be and live.
More than a century after his death, the town’s namesake founder still adds his own presence to the Square. John B. Denton’s grave is located on the Courthouse lawn.