Historical Galveston Survives Storm

Officials at the Galveston Historical Foundation were expecting the worst when they inspected storm damage at their historic homes and structures in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Today they say the news isn’t all bad, as Jim Bell reports.

Galveston Historical Foundation Director Dwayne Jones says a preliminary cursory inspection of their historical sites shows some of their properties fared better than others. The foundation’s headquarters in the 1861 U.S. Customs House on Post Office Street has the worst damage.

“We had a good bit of water in our first floor, in our main office, and a lot of our files and things will be lost.”

Jones says their showplace 19th century homes on Broadway — Ashton Villa and the Bishop’s Palace — also have water damage, but the tall ship Elissa, the pride of their collection, survived the storm with only minor damage.

“At the Seaport Museum Elissa has done very well. She rode out the storm quite nicely. We have some sail damage and things there. But the big loss there was our workshop. Our shops were maybe a total loss.”

Jones says other historic homes and buildings have water damage ranging from minor to major, but he believes all can and will be repaired and reopened sooner than you might think. After all, fixing up and preserving old structures is what they do.

“So we think we can get back and running really pretty quickly. When you have structural problems caused by wind and you have other kinds of things like that, those are much longer issues. The water ones and those kinds of things we know how to deal with.”

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

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