Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Half of Galveston Strand Buildings Put on 2009 List of Endangered Historic Places
Galveston Arts Center building dates from 1878
Today's Houston Chronicle print edition reported that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has added the 19th century cast-iron buildings that make up nearly half of the Galveston Strand historic district to its 2009 list of the 11 most endangered historic places in the United States.
Summarizing the thoughts of Dwayne Jones, executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation, the Chronicle said, "The designation is important because it can be used to raise money needed to save the buildings that have become a key tourism destination."
The earliest of the Greek revival and Italianate structures was built in 1859. The cast iron was used for "structural and ornamental architecture," but it has tended to rust over time in Galveston's sea-salty air--a process accelerated when many of the buildings were swamped by 10 to 13 feet of water for two days during Hurricane Ike.
The article noted that while the endangered designation does not guarantee that the historic architecture will be saved, it increases the odds dramatically: only six of the 200 historic places designated since 1988 have been lost.
More pictures of the Strand-Mechanic National Historic Landmark District are at http://www.travelphotobase.com/s/TXGS.HTM.