Sunday, May 15, 2005

Galveston Historic Homes Tour

Today I went on the 31st Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour with my friend Ron and friend of his. We saw almost all of the 12 the island's architecturally and historically significant private homes on the tour this year. They ranged from the wildly extravagant and romantic 1887 Landes Castle to a recent elaboration built around a vernacular 1928 rental cottage, with a range of age and opulence represented in between.

The homes on the 2005 Tour were:

1602 Postoffice: 1887 Henry A. Landes House (Landes Castle), D. A. Helmich, architect
Victorians loved the exotic and the extravagant. This East End landmark is the superlative of both. Festooned with terracotta, stained and etched glass, ornate carved wood, patterned slate and one of the most spectacular cast-iron double galleries in the city, this house is truly one of a kind. Cotton created immense fortunes on the Island, and enabled a privileged class to build their wildest dreams with brick and mortar.

1503 Church: 1928 Paul Chuschoff Tenant Cottage
This high-raised cottage is emblematic of the simple, vernacular rental housing that was built throughout Galveston's 19th century neighborhoods. The ubiquitous porch and shuttered windows were standard components of houses here. Shaded by two large oaks, the pergola and side yard create a verdant outdoor living space.

1409 Avenue M: 1898 Josephine Drouet House
Saved from demolition by Galveston Historical Foundation, this large L-front Queen Anne style house was moved to Avenue M in 2004 and awaits a discerning buyer to complete its rehabilitation. The facade features walk-through windows onto a three-bay inset porch that retains its original detailing. The dormer window punching through the high-pitched roof signals that a second floor is tucked into the giant attic. Restoration in progress.

1801 Avenue M: 1888 Julia L. Spalding Cottage
The gabled entry porch, with its fanciful x-patterned fretwork and unusual balustrade, of this quintessentially Galveston three-bay cottage beckons visitors to come in. Shuttered two-over-two windows frame the symmetrical facade. Around the side is a shuttered porch, once common on the island though few remain today.

1828 Avenue M: 1891 Sallie L. Shearer House
Like many of its neighbors in the Lost Bayou Historic District, this fine home has a full-width double gallery embellished with turned wood posts, fretwork and a patterned stick balustrade. Even the side entry porch is replete with detailing. The two-story house sits high on brick piers, immediately connoting its Island location.

2024 Avenue M: ca.1907 Herman H. Gold House
Set behind a prim wood picket fence, this is a classic example of the L-front Queen Anne style, the asymmetrical facade includes a projecting faceted bay with a windowed gable above and an inset three-bay porch with delicate balustrade spindles and fretwork. The horizontal proportions and one-over-one windows in the front bay, give clues to its late construction date.

1322 Rosenberg: 1903 Jacob Predecki House (see above)

3017 Avenue O: 1897 R. Waverly Smith Investment Property
This big Queen Anne style house was built as a rental property by one of Galveston's prominent figures of the late 19th century. Set high on a brick basement the grand Victorian house has multiple projecting bays and a corner turret accentuated with a steeply pitched roof. The loping arcuated lintels of the wrap-around porch imbue the house with a lively rhythmic quality.

3121 Avenue O: 1872 B. F. Hutches House
The austere yet elegant facade of this house, and the six-over-six windows, give a clue to its age. Before the Victorian era, the side-halled three-bay wide southern town house form reigned supreme in Galveston. The entry door, with sidelights, transom, and shouldered Greek architrave above are hallmark details of early Island architecture.

Posted by Eric at May 15, 2005 10:28 PM