Preserving Galveston (Overview)
The Preservation Services Department and the GHF Resource Center are services that GHF provides to the public. We can assist with research on the history of a building, proper methods of rehabilitation and sources for materials. The Resource Center offers an extensive library that includes maps, neighborhood surveys and in some cases, specific files on structures. We also have magazines and books on Galveston, architecture, landscaping and other areas of interest to residents and visitors to the island. GHF is always looking to increase our resources and welcomes donations of books or other materials that may be of use in research. It’s best to contact us and schedule a time (M-F, 8 to 5) to visit GHF’s Preservation Resource Center, so that a staff person can be available to assist you.
The best source for historic photographs of buildings on the island is the Galveston and Texas History Center at the Rosenberg Library. Many items from the early years of GHF were donated to the Rosenberg Library in the 1930s, since the library had the ability to properly archive and protect materials. With today’s technology, we are working to increase our database of historic images. If you have old photographs that show a building in Galveston, we’d like to add a copy of it to our files. It may be just the photo that a homeowner today or in the future needs to rebuild a historic porch or recreate that picket fence that was once there. If possible, please scan the photograph and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Historic Galveston Photograph” in the subject line. Please include as much information as you know (date taken, location, any history known about the building or people in the photograph, and your name). You may also want to mail the photo to us, but please let us know if you would like the photograph returned or if you would like to donate it to GHF.
GHF’s Salvage Warehouse in the historic Sealy Garage has historic building materials that property owners in Galveston may purchase to make repairs or additions. We take donations of surplus historic materials, and will be glad to schedule a pick-up with you. GHF is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, and all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Materials are then sold for a nominal cost to people working on their historic building, which helps to keep the charm of our neighborhoods.
At present, GHF has several grant programs for assistance with repairs to houses. The house must be owner-occupied, and the household must qualify as low-to-moderate income, according to guidelines set forth by HUD (U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department). Most programs will deal with exterior repairs, and are in the amount of up to $5,000. Preservation Service Department staff meets with the owner, verifies conditions and income, selects the contractor and pays them directly for the repairs. Through various programs, GHF has assisted thousands of homeowners with repairs over the years.
GHF offers the 1900 Storm Survivor Plaques and Windstorm Exemption Program to people in Galveston. The 1900 Storm Plaques are visible on many of Galveston’s oldest buildings and any structure built on or before 1900 is eligible. The Windstorm Exemption Program is a free service, and allows the property owner more flexibility in making repairs to their historic building. It also allows the historic character of a neighborhood to be maintained, instead of requiring impact resistant windows and doors to be installed in a historic building. Any structure 50 years old or older can qualify for the program if many of the historic architectural elements (windows, doors, etc.) have been retained. Please follow these links to find out more information about the 1900 Storm Survivor Plaque and Windstorm Exemption programs.
The Preservation Services Department also speaks at public meetings on behalf of preservation issues in Galveston. GHF is pro-development and pro-business and wants to help in any way possible to insure new construction is respectful of the island’s existing buildings and neighborhoods. GHF’s two largest fund raisers, Dickens on the Strand and the Galveston Historic Homes Tour have generated hundreds of millions of dollars for the city over their 30 plus years and have shown people that renovating older buildings for their residences and businesses makes good economic sense.
Until about 2002, GHF published a quarterly list of historic properties for sale in town. Galveston’s real estate market had undergone a tremendous renaissance since 2001. We found that by the time the information was compiled and posted to our website, many properties had been sold and the list was obsolete. For the most current listing of properties for sale on the island, please visit the Galveston Association of Realtor homepage at http://www.garmls.com/ or the websites of their members.
By becoming a member of the Galveston Historical Foundation, you receive a 30% discount on paint (except the Duration line) at Sherwin Williams and 30% discount on paint at Kwal Paint. This discount is good at any of their stores, nationwide. The savings from this exceptional offer will in most cases exceed your cost to join GHF, so sign up today