ENSURING THE PRESERVATION OF OUR HISTORIC COMMUNITY
The GHF Revolving Fund purchases endangered buildings, rehabilitates them, and sells them to preservation-minded individuals. Efforts in several neighborhoods have dramatically improved the area and encouraged other homeowners to do the same with their properties. Many of these buildings would have been demolished without GHF’s intervention.
GHF rehabilitated properties are sold with a protective covenant to ensure the architectural character of the buildings will be preserved. Since beginning the Revolving Fund, GHF currently holds protective covenants on approximately 35 commercial structures and 40 residences.
For more information, please contact Laura Bourgeois, Director of Preservation and Conservation Services, at 409-765-3425.
The Blythe House at 1414 Avenue L is a great representation of a number of 1 1/2 story center-hall, side-gabled houses in Galveston built in the middle to late 19th century. Through GHF’s Revolving Fund, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, this structure is undergoing a full rehab, including the elevation of the house to meet current flood elevation requirements, detaching the two rear additions and relocating them on the site, and more.
Thomas Blythe, a drayman, purchased the lot in 1865, just after the close of the Civil War. The house dates to 1866 and was likely constructed by Blythe for his family. The two rear additions date from c.1869 and c.1892 and could be salvaged houses relocated and attached to the principal dwelling. The first three images come from the initial work to move and raise the multiple structures. The following image is of I-beams getting soaped to move under the house for lifting. This project, and numerous others before, are an example of GHF’s impact on the community and preservation of our island’s architectural history.
ABOUT 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.