Officially incorporated in 1839, the coastal city of Galveston, TX is rich in history despite its small size. Once largely known for having an extremely active port, it has since evolved throughout the decades to become a popular destination for numerous travelers every year. However, it has never failed to keep its past relevant, and because of a strong commitment from community leaders to preserve and restore this history, it currently has more than 2,000 local buildings recognized on the National Register of Historical Places. You don’t have to be a devoted historian to appreciate the beauty and nostalgia that surrounds each of the sites below. Read on to learn more about historic Galveston!
The Ashton Villa, one of the many Galveston historic homes, was built in 1859 as the first home on Broadway Blvd and the first mansion on the entire island. The three-story villa is a work of art both inside and out. It was the social hub of Galveston in its prime and remarkably survived the Great Storm of 1900, only sustaining water damage. After being restored, the house was returned to its grand stature. Although it is not open for public tours, it is well worth it to stop and take a picture, nonetheless.
Constructed from 1886 to 1892, Bishop’s Palace was designed by one of Galveston’s own local architects. It is striking with its carved detail, stained-glass windows, ornate sculptures, colored stone, and extraordinary furnishings and décor. It has been declared one of the 100 most important buildings in the United States by the American Institute of Architects. As one of the most popular Galveston historical sites for visitors, it is open for guided, self-guided, and private tours.
The Moody Mansion
The Moody Mansion is an impressive four-story, 28,000 square foot building that housed Galveston’s legendary Moody family until the 1980s. Twenty rooms on the main floors of the mansion are open for public tours, allowing visitors to experience life the way the influential family did so many years ago. The exhibits feature a collection of the family’s personal belongings, and there are many interactive activities for children to participate in. If you’re interested in Galveston historic homes, this is the one to visit!
St. Joseph’s Church
Built in 1859-60, this is the oldest German Catholic church in Texas. It is reminiscent of a Gothic revival design with a square bell tower and many other standout features. The Galveston Historical Foundation has been dedicated to preserving the structure, which is now used for private events and prearranged group tours.
Grand 1894 Opera House
The Grand 1894 Opera House is just as special to residents and visitors of Galveston now as it was over a century ago. The grandiose theater has been restored after surviving a few major storms and currently hosts many live theatrical and musical performances throughout the year. Catching a show here is historical, as well as entertaining.
For more information on these or any other historic Galveston Island location, the professional staff at Sterling Realtors would be happy to answer your questions. Call today to let the company help you book one of the island’s best vacation rentals for your trip.