Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Galveston has a lot to offer!

The Bishop's Palace in Galveston.

"Smitty" by Elizabeth Punches

Originally, the Peanut Butter Warehouse stored coffee, peanut butter, and candy. It has been transformed into lofts, an event center and boutiques.

Washed Ashore sculpture 'Stanley the Sturgeon" on Pleasure Pier.

"Brody the Adélie Penguin" located at Moody Mansion 

"Rosa the Bald Eagle" found on Pier 21

I've posted this before, but the $150 million yatch with a pool, 7 state rooms, and a helipad deserves another post. It is owned by Tilman Feritta, businessman, author and TV personality who is a Galveston native

Which reminds me we were behind this $85,000 electric car!

The Carnival Breeze was in port.

Sunday was only in the 50's but no rain and sunny. 

Despite the cooler temperatures the beach was busy and even had quite a few sunbathers. 

This guy must have been a Boy Scout. He set his tent up back by the dunes unlike a few others. 

On Monday Sally and I took an audio tour of
the Bishops Palace, originally Gresham's House. It is a 19,000 sq. ft. Victorian-style house built from 1877-1892. The house is three stories high over a raised basement with 52 rooms.  Made of stone (23" thick walls) and steel it survived the great hurricane of 1900, where hundreds of survivors were welcomed.

Marble fireplaces, from all over the world (two were purchased after becoming World Fair winners), different woods in each room with no expense spared in building this ornate home. 

It was built for Colonel Walter (also an attorney, legislater, founder of the Gulf, Colorado and Sante Fe Railroad and an entrepreneur) and Josephine Gresham (an accomplished artist) and their 9 children, 7 of whom survived to adulthood. In 1923 it was purchased by the Catholic Diocese of Galveston for the bishop at that time, and his two sisters. After the diocesan offices were moved to Houston in 1963 it was opened to the public with proceeds going to the UT medical school's Newman Center, located in it's basement. In 2013 it was purchased by the Galveston Historical Foundation for $3 million.

It is recognized as one of America's finest examples of Victorian and Gilded-Age extravagance. It is cited by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 100 most important buildings in America. Built for $250,000, purchased in 1923 for $40,500, it is currently worth over $5.5 million.

Windows open from the top to let in air, but also from the bottom so you could walk outside to the many balcanies. There were interior windows that allowed air to flow through the house. 

In the mirror noticed one of the hand-painted ceilings.

The shutters fold back into the wall so they won't rattle in the wind. 

Walter Gresham

Mrs. Gresham's postcard book.

The main kitchen is in the basement which we didn't have access to. This was originally a warming kitchen that was expanded when the Bishop moved in. 

One of the few houses of its time with indoor plumbing and electricity.

The main floor had a large bedroom for each of the two Gresham daughters.  When the Bishop moved in he took one for his bedroom and the other was converted into a chapel. The boys rooms and Josephine's art studio were in the attic, which we didn't have access to.

3 of the 4 stained glass windows of the apostles in the chapel. Many of the original stained glass windows were destroyed by hurricanes.

Bishop Christopher Byrne

There are 3 stained glass windows on the grand staircase landing.  The one on the right is on an interior wall and was back-lit.

Texas star on the landing "pulpit."

There are ornate designs inside as well as out. 

Mr. Gresham's bedroom on the 2nd floor.

Across the road is Sacred Heart Church one of six churches that joined, after hurricane Ike in 2008, under one "Holy Family Parish" with 1.7 million parishioners.
Where are the Piepers now? Galveston, TX

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