A hole in a stone wall of an Old Blanco County Courthouse office under restoration posed a big headache for Rudy Nino, a Blanco contractor and member of the Blanco Historic Preservation Commission. When constructed in 1885, the Old Courthouse (new then) had vaults with steel doors and combination locks in four downstairs offices. Obtained by the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society in 1990, the Old Courthouse had one office with the vault door, including its steel casement, missing and a gaping hole in the stone wall revealing the closet-like interior of the vault.
That office, northeast on the Courthouse floor plan, was not touched during OBCCPS's major renovation of the Old Courthouse in 1998 and was in very poor condition. This year the current OBCCPS Board of Directors hired Mr. Nino to renovate that office. A Board member serendipitously learned that former OBCCPS Board member and president, Dr. Clinton DeWolfe, had in his possession an old steel vault door from a building in Missouri. His original intention was to utilize it in a never-built shooting range on his ranch. Having rested rusting on a DeWolfe barn floor for twenty-six years, the door was quite deteriorated but Rudy thought it could be made to work. Dr. DeWolfe was pleased to have OBCCPS make use of the door.
After weeks of persistent cleaning and rebuilding by Rudy and his welding-wizard helper, the vault door and its rebuilt casement are firmly installed in the splendidly renovated office. OBCCPS members are delighted to have the fruit of Rudy’s vision and diligent effort. And the new office tenant is delighted to have an office closet with a very strong steel door.