"People are not supposed to live on a sandbar, and the fact that they choose to live on this one tells you something about the collective psyche. These are people who like to be different, who see themselves as select, and maybe even a little invincible" (Gary Cartwright, Galveston: A History of the Island, 1991, p.2).
And that description of the people of Galveston was written before Hurricane Ike tested them once again. (Challenges had been faced and met following The Great Storm of 1900 and again in 1915, 1919, and 1961.) This time the storm surge came not from the Gulf side of the Island, but from the "backside" (or bayside). And again a new generation was challenged to rebuild and restore.
The East End Historical District, comprised of over 50 city blocks, has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
A walk around the District with tour brochure in hand presented us with examples of the architecture of Galveston's "Gilded Age" of charm.
We begin with some homes on Sealy Street and
The balustrades (spindles) and numberous woodworking details (below) are outstanding features.
The Victorian masonry mansion is asymmetrical, and raised on a brick foundation that is stuccoed and rusticated to resemble stone.
Described as the strangest house in a city of strange houses, it is a combination Gothic and Moorish design; rusticated Belgian cement stuccoes the brick walls. The mansard roof with nine gables is covered with gray slate.
Mrs. George Fox Home, 1908
Julius Ruhl Home, 1874
Classical and Gothic Victorian blend with notable woodworking.
This large Victorain features twin gables and a "widow's walk" (a Gulf viewing area for ships' captains' wives).
M.W. Shaw Home, c. 1900
One of the few brick homes built during this period features eight fireplaces.