Several Bexar County officials today did what criminals on trial have been imagining they could do for years...they pulled down the walls of the Bexar County Courthouse.


  1200 WOAI news reports it is part of a project to remove additions to the southwest side of the building which were built in the 1960s and 1970s, to return the courthouse exterior to its 1890s appearance.


  "This addition will be demolished, and the exterior of the building will be restored to its historic appearance," said Sharon Fleming, who heads the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Commission.


  The Commission provided some of the money to pay for the renovation.


  The additions were built to house offices for the County Commissioners Court, but Commissioners Court offices have since moved to the Elizondo Tower next door.  The courtroom, which backs onto the historic 1890s limestone facade of the courthouse, will remain.


  "This building's 19th Century and early 20th Century design is very significant," Fleming said.


  The renovation comes at a time when many of the old 19th Century courtrooms are being restored to their original design, with their high ceilings and original mahogany hardwood judge's benches.