Ellis County Historic Courthouse Security Upgrade
The state of Texas has more historic courthouses than any other state, a total of 225, 86 of which are nationally registered, and 78 of those are listed as Texas Historic Landmarks.
The Historic Courthouse of Ellis County (https://www.co.ellis.tx.us/460/Our-Historic-Court-House), located in Downtown Waxahachie is one of those 86 nationally registered, and 78 courthouses that are registered as Texas Historic Landmarks. The current courthouse is the fourth edition, built in 1897, it was an original design by architect James Riely Gordon.
The Historic Courthouse is 23,739 square feet, and 9 stories tall. It features a working clock tower a bell that weighs 800 pounds, 21 carved stone faces(there’s an interesting fable about these faces), copper molding, and 4 bronze eagles that are mounted on the roof.
It is one beautiful building, holding the number 8 spot on the list of outstanding architectural achievements in the state of Texas.
It’s no secret that we live in a time where security and safety are important, so not having a security system around a building that holds such historic significance and still operates as a workplace didn’t seem like a viable option anymore.
We were contacted by Sara Garcia to put together a proposal for a security upgrade that would require for us to steer clear of placing anything on the building itself.
We knew we would need to get creative, and together we came up with a plan to install the security system all around the historic courthouse, giving it a complete 360-degree view, while using the internet from the new courthouse just a few streets over.
In order to complete this, a complete wireless system was needed. We would use 2 existing light poles (already equipped with electricity) and install 2 additional poles (and run cable underground to access electricity), that look exactly like the existing poles. Each pole would house the following:
- Ubiquiti G3 Cameras-offer 1080p Full HD Resolution for day and night coverage.
- IR Range Extenders - enhances night vision range.
- POE Switch
- Weatherproof Enclosure - Keeps everything dry.
- Ubiquiti NanoBeam Radio - Allows for wireless access around the entire Historic Courthouse.
Obviously getting to work with a historic building is interesting on its own, but there were other aspects that made this job one to remember.
We needed network access, something that wasn't possible due to the historic status of the building. We needed to get creative...
We installed a Ubiquiti NanoBeam Radio on the roof of the new courthouse that is just a few streets over from the Historic Courthouse. This radio pings a radio on one pole, then that pole's radio pings the other pole's radio, etc. This allowed for each pole that houses the security system to run day and night with no interruption in service.