Well known for its 1892 Bishop’s Palace and 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, Galveston Historical Foundation now can add a 1904 railroad depot to its impressive list of historic properties it owns and manages. GHF purchased the 1904 Galveston, Houston & Henderson (GH&H) Freight Depot in late July. Future plans of the mixed use space are forthcoming but early concepts include interactive exhibits, special event rental space, food, and drink opportunities and more. The depot is located at 3304 Market Street.
“The 1904 GH&H Depot marks a new step for GHF to preserve our rapidly disappearing industrial area of Galveston,” says Dwayne Jones, Galveston Historical Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is one of the last truly great buildings north of Broadway that opens up new opportunities for us. We look forward to being the stewards for this historic building taking over from the Gately family. Thanks to them this historic treasure can be returned to a new mixed use site for Galvestonians and our visitors to enjoy.”
The GH&H Freight Depot was built in 1904. At the time, the railroad was jointly owned by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (commonly known as the “Katy”) and the International & Great Northern Railroad. Both of these railroad systems relied on the GH&H line to deliver goods and people between Houston and Galveston. As the island city recovered from the 1900 Hurricane, the railroad companies sought to fortify Galveston’s role in the cotton trade. Towards that end, the GH&H Depot, billed at the time as one of the “handsomest and most substantial of its kind,” was built with the capacity to handle the entire annual cotton crop of Texas.
“I am very happy with the outcome,” states Ann Gately, owner of Gately Paper Company. “The building served us well over the years and GHF will preserve this unique and historic building for all to enjoy. I would like to thank Dwayne Jones, John Smith, and Peter Sapio for all their help bringing this to pass.”
Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) was formed as the Galveston Historical Society in 1871 and merged with a new organization formed in 1954 as a non-profit entity devoted to historic preservation and history in Galveston County. Over the last sixty years, GHF has expanded its mission to encompass community redevelopment, historic preservation advocacy, maritime preservation, coastal resiliency and stewardship of historic properties. GHF embraces a broader vision of history and architecture that encompasses advancements in environmental and natural sciences and their intersection with historic buildings and coastal life and conceives of history as an engaging story of individual lives and experiences on Galveston Island from the 19th century to the present day.