For six years, students from the University of Texas at San Antonio’s School of Architecture have joined Galveston Historical Foundation each summer for field work on numerous preservation projects. This summer, one of those groups has taken on the task of reassembling a pre-civil war era house inside the Foundation’s 1940 Sears Building at 2228 Broadway.
The home, built in the 1860’s, was saved by GHF after Hurricane Ike. Originally located at 2014 14th Street, the building is a three-bay cottage built by stevedore James Waters, who used it as a tenant property. It was donated to GHF by Joseph Russo and stored until the opportunity presented itself for installation in the Sears Building’s Architectural Salvage Warehouse. The public is welcomed to stop by the warehouse and watch as these students continue the reconstruction Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Once complete, GHF staff will use it as a teaching tool, demonstrating preservation techniques to people restoring historic houses.
“The reconstruction of the pre-Civil War house inside the historic Sears building is an unusual preservation project,” says Dwayne Jones, Galveston Historical Foundation’s Executive Director. “This rare island house is ideal for teaching visitors about early construction techniques and contemporary methods to rehabilitate historic houses on the island. We are excited to complete this effort and to tell the story of the occupants and architectural history in a unique method. The only similar project I am aware of is in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.”