Sunday, April 6, 2014

A City's Homes Tell a Story

The photos presented here document the third portion of our walk around the Silk Stocking District of Galveston, TX. We have been drawn to the architecture of the homes and businesses in the East End District (April 15, 2013 blog entry), the Strand (April 24, 2013), Broadway homes (April 28, 2013), and other sections of the city (April 19, 20, 22, and 30 of 2013).
Queen Anne, c. 1895

The self-guided walking tour brochure entitled "The Silk Stocking National Historic District" was in one hand and my camera in the other as we made our way around the neighborhood.
Queen Anne, c. 1895

Now if I have a list of places, sculptures, homes, murals, or decorated "mascots" of a city, I will admit to feeling compelled--even duty-bound--to record all of the items on the list. (Yes, there is a bit of obsessive-compulsiveness in my make-up, but that is another story).
Queen Anne, c. 1895

And in this District's case, the brochure is so well-designed that I had a relatively easy finding the homes on the list.
High raised dwelling, c. 1895

While following the course of the walk, one could ask why not select only a few of the homes listed. After all, they can't all be equally interesting. Well, I would disagree with that position.

Like their owners, architects, and builders, the homes reflect periods in the lives of these people and of the city. And therein lies the introduction to a city.
Queen Anne style, c. 1893

This eclectic blend of ornamentation typifies the varied interpretation of the Queen Anne style.
Queen Anne, c. 1898

Vernacular center passage form, c. 1860

In 1921, this house was turned from the original 23rd Street frontage to face Avenue M to escape the commercial redevelopment along 23rd.
Three Gulf Coast cottages, c. 1870

These cottages represented the integrated housing conditions that characterized the neighborhood for much of its history. There were structures on these lots in 1865 with additions made in 1870. The houses were moved closer together at some time to accommodate the small house (not shown) on the corner.
Bungalow, c. 1860

Raised cottage, c. 1895

Queen Anne, c. 1890

Classic Revival, c. 1921

I chanced upon a very cooperative puppy. "Posing" on the porch (shown between the top points of the iron fence), this proud pup's majestic expression identified him as the master of the house. Or mistress of the house.
Composite of Italianate and Queen Anne styles, c. 1868

In 1927, this house was sold to the American Red Cross, which operated out of the home for thirty years.

Harry Hawley House, c. 1907

Built in 1907, with renovations in 1922, the home's design is more reminiscent of the European homes found in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, which gives it a Mediterranean appearance. Surrounded by porches on the west, south and east sides, these became screened porches in 1922, overlooking extensive gardens.
Raised cottage displaying eclectic Eastlake detailing executed in turned and jigsawn wood, c. 1885

Built by James M. Brown as a wedding present for his daughter Matilda (or Mathilda) upon her marriage to Thomas Sweeney.

I was especially caught up in studying the details of the architecture and colors of this home and wanted to learn a bit more about it.
I don't usually get into the home's family's history, but in this case the story of the family was a sad contrast to the beauty of the home.
"Thomas and Mathilda married in 1884 and the trouble started about 7 years later, with Thomas being extremely abusive toward Mathilda and even causing their children to scatter and hide when he would arrive home from work each day. This abuse was known by maids, family members and neighbors, so when...gathering eyewitness reports of the abuse for the divorce proceedings’ evidence, Thomas was shown in his true light.
Mathilda had endured years of abuse at the hands of Thomas, who failed in his attempts to keep the home he and Mathilda had lived in. ...(She) was granted the deed for the property and custody of her children in the divorce despite usually strict Victorian marriage laws stating that the man would gain ownership of the woman’s properties and inheritances while married (
Judge Mart Royston, noted lawyer and civic leader, and his two sisters occupied the residence from 1911 until 1954.

Personally, I think the colors reflect the home's happy "mood."

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