By: Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - Big changes are in the works for Midland County officials. On Thursday, they're shutting the doors to the courthouse, putting an end to an 80-year chapter in West Texas history.
For the people who work inside the Midland County Courthouse walls, the new changes are offering chance to look back. For Judge John Hyde, this isn't just a workplace, it's where his family grew.
"I have good memories of bringing my daughters here when they were just babies," Hyde said. "Right down the hall in another courtroom we finalized the adoption of our younger daughter and our older daughter was with us, we have a lot of good memories here."
You may have been by the courthouse for jury duty or to drop off paperwork, but what you might not know is the history that's been written at the courthouse on Wall Street. The county has used the building since 1930 holding over 500 jury trials. But the ground it sits on has been the place for the Midland County Courthouse since 1886 holding four different structures. And while they may be packing up fond memories, there are a few memories county officials would rather forget.
"I will not miss the jail stopping up the sewers and flooding the courtroom," Judge Hyde said. "I will not miss the elevator, the slowest one in the west, I think. The building were moving to has 4 elevators - high speed. So it will be much more accommodating to the community."
"Looking back I'm sure we'll reminisce about some of the cases and stories about the building, but it's time to move on," Judge Hyde said. "We're way overcrowded and we're grateful to the commissioners for looking forward enough to have a building that will accommodate the community for another 80-90 years."
At this point, the County Commissioners haven't exactly decided what they plan to do with the courthouse structure on Wall Street. On Thursday at 12p.m., they'll close the doors and debut the new courthouse on North Lorraine October 1.