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Galveston is renowned for its beautiful architecture and historic buildings.
Spend the day walking streets lined with Victorian homes, or get up close and explore 18th-century mansions on eye-opening tours.
pictured: East End historic home.
Located in the East End Historic District at 1402 Broadway, this National Historic Landmark is the most well-known building in Galveston. Architectural historians consider Bishop’s Palace, aka Gresham House or Gresham’s Castle, as one of the most significant Victorian residences in the country. The 3-story house was completed in 1892, made entirely of stone and steel, which thankfully was able to withstand the Great Storm. In fact, Walter Gresham, a railroad magnate, welcomed hundreds of residents who were left homeless after the storm into his home.
The 28,000 square-foot splendor of Moody Mansion is representative of the wealthy family that called it home. Completed in 1895, the 4-story mansion at 2618 Broadway was home to William Lewis Moody, Jr., an American entrepreneur who built his fortune in the cotton business, and his wife and four children. Generations of other Moody family members lived in the house until 1986, and its rooms are still filled with their memorabilia and furnishings. Today, the home is available for group events and weddings. Visitors can also see 20 rooms of the mansion on self-guided tours.
For true American West history buffs, a visit to The Bryan Museum is a must. One of the world's largest collections of historical artifacts, documents, and artwork relating to Texas and the American West can be found here. Examine ancient Native American cultural artifacts to 21st century objects—around 70,000 items in—including antique firearms, rare books and maps, Native American stone tools and arrowheads, and much more.
Galveston’s oldest home belonged to a Canadian fur trader, and one of the founders of the city, Michel B. Menard. Today it’s a sought-after venue for weddings and special events due to its stunning setting among mighty oak trees and grand columns in the Greek revival style. The house, at 1605 33rd Street, was fabricated and shipped from Maine in pieces, which was in earlier times a more economical means of construction due to a lack of carpenters in Texas. It is said Menard built the house for his second wife, but she died the same year construction was completed, in 1838. Marvel at the Biedermeier and William IV styles of furnishings that date from the first half of the 19th century and wander the stately landscaped grounds.
The three-story house at 2328 Broadway Avenue J was the first house built on Broadway Boulevard, and one of the first brick buildings in Texas. James M. Brown, the fifth richest man in Texas, had it built in 1859 for his family. His daughter Bettie would later become known as one of Galveston’s most famous residents for her lavish parties and eccentric behavior around town; it's said her ghost haunts the mansion. Done in Victorian Italianate style, with long windows, elegant verandas, and gold filigree, the mansion is not open for public tours but can be rented for private events and weddings.