Marshall’s Memorial City Hall officially unveiled its new historical marker honoring Marshall native Cornelius Granbery Lancaster, the architect for the original building.

“Memorial City Hall is honored to have a plaque recognizing the architect of our historic venue,” said MCH Director Glenn Barnhart, “We are very proud that the City of Marshall saved and restored such a beautiful building and that C.G. Lancaster’s legacy will be preserved for future generations.”

The event took place Tuesday this week, with the community gathering at the performance center to celebrate the marker and Lancaster’s legacy.

Lancaster was born in Texas in 1863, and studied architecture at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, which was later Texas A&M University, from 1892 to 1895 — but he did not receive a degree.

Lancaster designed a number of structures locally that still stand today, with many recognized as registered Texas historic landmarks by the Texas Historical Commission.

This includes the Ginocchio Hotel (1898), the Weisman-Hirsch Home (1901) and the historic Harrison County courthouse (1900), which was designed by J. Riely Gordon but with construction supervised by Lancaster, who also supervised its renovation in 1914 and 1917.

Lancaster also designed high school buildings for Henderson (1916), Marshall (1917), Overton (1916), Waskom (1924), Mineola (1924), Mineral Wells (1913) and Avinger (1935), in addition to a number of elementary schools in East Texas.

Municipal and commercial buildings in Marshall designed by Lancaster also include the Marshall City Hall (1910) and its replacement (1922, after a fire burned the 1910 structure), Joe Weisman and Company, Marshall Mill and Elevator Company, the Hawley Building, the Elks Building, the Coca-Cola bottling plant (1920) and Temple Moses Montefiore (1900, razed 1973).

Lancaster also designed banks and commercial buildings in Jefferson, Pittsburg, Henderson and Carthage.

Like many other Marshallites, the Great Depresion hit Lancaster hard and he closed his business, later going to work in 1937 as a supervisor for the Work Projects Administration. Lancaster died on December 1, 1947, and is buried in Marshall.


City Reporter

Jessica Harker has been the city reporter with the Marshall News Messenger since 2019.