Galveston Historic Homes Tour offers a bit of island history

GALVESTON, Texas - If shiplap, chandeliers, and original hardwood floors are your real-estate jam, then an upcoming event could have you switching off HGTV and taking a trip to Galveston.

The Galveston Historical Foundation is holding its 43rd annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour on May 6, 7, 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets are $30 for non-members before May 1, and $35 after and are available online at Members of Galveston Historical Foundation can purchase specially priced $25 tickets.

Take a sneak peek into some of the historic homes that will be open for tours:

“The annual homes tour highlights the island’s architecture crossing decades of construction and design as well as houses both large and small. Galveston offers a unique collection of late 19th and early 20th century houses that will intrigue visitors and captivate historic house buffs,” said Dwayne Jones, Galveston Historical Foundation’s executive director.


1868 Charles and Susan Hurley House - 1328 Ball Homes Tour Cover House

Charles Hurley, commission merchant and former mayor of Galveston, owned this two-story Southern townhouse with Greek Revival features. Hurley and his family occupied the property until the late 1880s. Heavily damaged during the 1900 Storm, the house was rebuilt with an addition in 1910.

c1880 Alley House - 811 Broadway

Galveston Historical Foundation relocated this vernacular two-room alley house from the 1100 block of Market Street to its current location in 2009. The side-gabled wood frame building represents a typical alley house prevalent in Galveston since the 1840s. Saved from demolition by relocation, the city of Galveston designated the building a historic landmark in 2010.

1904 Thomas and Maggie Bollinger House - 1601 Post Office

Grocery merchant Thomas Bollinger and his wife, Maggie, were the first residents of this two-story Victorian house. The couple rented the house for several years and then purchased the property in 1907. The building’s most prominent feature is a wrap-around double gallery porch that addresses its corner lot in Galveston’s historic East End neighborhood. 1905 James and Emma Davis House - 1915 Sealy James Jefferson Davis, former vice president and general manager of the Galveston Wharves, commissioned Galveston architect George B. Stowe to design this two-story house with Colonial Revival influences for use as his family residence. Born and raised in Galveston, Stowe had one of the largest architectural offices in the state and was highly regarded as a leader in his profession.

1899 William and Ella Dugey House - 3007 Avenue P

William Dugey commissioned this two-story side-hall Victorian townhouse that was completed in 1899 just before the 1900 storm. After substantial damage from the storm, he rebuilt it in 1901 and occupied it for a number of years. The large two-over-two windows on the principal facade open to a double gallery porch that faces north. Dugey was a cotton screwman who worked on the wharves compressing bales of cotton onto ocean-going vessels.

916 Hans and Marguerite Guldmann House - 1715 35th Street

Dallas architectural firm C. D. Hill & Company designed a 5,500-square-foot brick house for businessman and former Danish Consul, Hans Guldmann. Sitting on more than one acre, the two-story residence features both Mission and Craftsman design elements including a tile roof, wide over-hanging eaves revealing exposed rafter tails, and a double gallery supported by square columns.

1925 Joseph and Helen Swiff House - 1602 25th Street

Russian immigrant Joseph Swiff commissioned Czechoslovakian architect Rudolph Mudrak to design this Mission style house in 1925. The one-story hollow tile and brick building with a stucco finish contains ten rooms and nineteen closets, four of which were cedar lined. Swiff operated J. Swiff & Co., a cotton, bagging, and lumber business in Galveston. He maintained ownership of the property until 1970.

1926 Harry and Harriet Wetmore House - 1606 25th Street

Galveston harbor pilot Capt. Harry Wetmore contracted with Johnson Brothers Construction Company to erect a red-brick, two-story Colonial Revival house during the summer of 1926. The property is noted by a prominent front entry supported by slender columns and a side elevation portecochere leading to a rear two-story garage and servant’s quarters. Wetmore came to Galveston in 1913 as a captain for the Morgan Steamship Lines. He and his family maintained ownership of the property until 1965.

1915 Henry Hildebrand House - 3624 Avenue R 1/2 Rehabilitation in Progress, 1st Weekend Only

Henry Hildebrand purchased a two-story kit house from the Aladdin House Company in 1915. The property’s original insurance record noted that “The Fairmont” house pattern arrived in Galveston by train “ready to nail together.” Donated to Galveston Historical Foundation in 2015 - and featured during the 2016 Historic Homes Tour, the recently completed rehabilitation of the house is supported through GHF’s Revolving Fund. The fund is a neighborhood revitalization initiative focused on rehabilitating vacant, endangered, and underutilized historic buildings in Galveston.

1920 City National Bank Building - 2219 Market Rehabilitation in Progress, 2nd Weekend Only

Chicago architects Weary & Alford designed a two-story neoclassical stone building to house William L. Moody Jr.’s City National Bank. Renamed Moody National Bank in 1953, banking operations we’re conducted from the building until 1962. From 1976 until 2008, the building was used as a museum. It is currently being rehabilitated for use as a private event venue.