BEXAR COUNTY COURTHOUSE RESTORATIONS
In 1992, the Bexar County Commissioners Court developed a plan that envisioned a restored historic courthouse with modernized infrastructure so that it would remain relevant and in daily use. Commissioned to create the master plan, 3D/International created and published A Historic Preservation Master Plan for the Bexar County Courthouse. Presented to the Bexar County Commissioner's Court in February 2000, the plan followed the guidelines established by the Texas Courthouse Preservation Program, initiated by then Governor George W. Bush and authorized by Texas House Bill 1341. The plan was created for several purposes:
- Establish an optimum plan for preservation of the Courthouse as an occupied and continuously used space.
- Prioritize plans for repairs, restorations, preservations and continued use of the historical elements of the Bexar County Courthouse.
- Improve the safety, accessibility, security, and major building systems.
- Develop a plan to provide funds from a variety of sources to implement the recommendation of the plan.
- Establish an operational system for accomplishing the purpose of the Texas Courthouse Preservation Program.
The "Historic Preservation Master Plan for the Bexar County Courthouse" is based upon the 1927 renovations and additions to the structure. Taking the building back to its 1927 appearance will recapture the grandeur of an era and firmly re-establish the historical significance of the Courthouse. The Bexar County Commissioner's Court has directed that the primary use of the Courthouse be as a space for civil courtrooms. As such, the courtrooms, judge's chambers, jury deliberation rooms and courtroom support office spaces are defined as a "court suite." Fortunately, many of the 1927 era courtroom spaces are still used for that purpose today. However, many of the most significant architectural details have been hidden behind modern facades and are in tremendous need of renovation to preserve and maintain the historic character. The restorations outlined in the "Historic Preservation Master Plan for the Bexar County Courthouse" will return the Courthouse to the original dignity and stateliness prescribed by the earlier visionaries of Bexar County.