Anyone who's ever driven down Broadway in Galveston has seen those magnificent old homes. Ashton Villa and the Bishop's Palace, just to name two. Leslie Summers with Galveston Historical Foundation says newcomers to Texas are often surprised to find so much history is just an hour's drive away.
"Our earliest identified buildings on the island date back to 1838, and we have a number from that time period, 1838 through the early 1840s, then there are many buildings here on the island that are pre-Civil War, ante-bellum structures, both commercial and residential structures."
This weekend and next, ten of the island city's old houses will open for public tours. There is an admission fee, and the proceeds help fund the historical foundation's work in preserving Galveston's historic structures, in a historic district that was created by one of the toughest preservation ordinances in the state. Summers the people of Galveston are proud of the city's history and they enjoy showing it to visitors.
"Galveston as a community embraced the preservation ethic a long time ago, and was one of the early communities in the nation to be at the forefront of preservation."
The historic landmark 1861 Galveston Custom House Building and museum at 20th and Post Office Streets will serve as the central gathering spot for the home tours. There's more information in a link to the Galveston Historical Foundation on our website KUHF dot Org. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.