Galveston Historical Foundation begins restoration on the Walter and Josephine Gresham House also known as Bishop’s Palace this month. For a house in its 123rd year of life, ongoing maintenance and restoration work are crucial to its preservation. When it’s a National Historic Landmark; however, it’s imperative. Over the next few months, visitors to the Bishop’s Palace will see GHF’s latest preservation project that includes new electrical wiring, updated historical paint colors, window repair, foundation work and stained glass repair. Additional work is planned on the tile roof though GHF is now verifying the source and manufacturer of the roof tiles.
Atlas Foundation, Building Solutions, A&H Electric, Foster Stained Glass and Source Historical Services are contractors for the restoration. Work is being funded by a grant from the Save America’s Treasures program of the National Park Service for nationally significant properties with matching funds being raised by admission fees.
“We are very excited to see some long-needed restoration work underway,” states Dwayne Jones, Galveston Historical Foundation’s Executive Director. “The Gresham House tells an extraordinary story of the island’s rich history and architecture. It’s a magnificent building that we are proud to own and manage.”
Bishop’s Palace, also known as the Walter and Josephine Gresham House, is one of the island’s best known and most popular tourist attractions. Bishop’s Palace is recognized as one of the nation’s most important late 19th century Victorian residences. Nicholas Clayton, Texas’ most accomplished architect of the period, designed the house for the Gresham family. In 1921, Galvestonians raised money to buy the house for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese to make it the home of Bishop Byrne.
GHF purchased the property in 2013 from the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. The foundation is the third owner of the property and assumed management in 2007. It welcomes over 65,000 local, national and international visitors each year. Normal operating hours will continue: 10 am to 5 pm Sunday through Friday and 10 am to 6 pm Saturday. The home is located at 1402 Broadway in Galveston, Texas.