38th Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour Returns First Two Weekends in May

38th Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour Returns First Two Weekends in May

Steeped in history, rich in style and standing as a testament to survival, the 38th Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour returns May 5, 6, 12 and 13, 2012 showcasing 10 historic island homes. Tickets are $15 for Galveston Historical Foundation members and $20 for non-members before May 4 and are available for purchase online at http://www.galvestonhistory.org and at all area Kroger Food Stores. Tickets are $25 for non-members after May 4.

“The Galveston Historic Homes Tour allows GHF to showcase our island’s extraordinary architecture and history,” says Dwayne Jones, Galveston Historical Foundation’s Executive Director. “With the cooperation of homeowners and many volunteers, you can experience the places that make Galveston distinctive and beautiful. This year’s lineup of houses and special events will continue this wonderful early summer tradition that brings back thousands to historic Galveston Island.”

In addition to the numerous land based offerings, this year’s tour will also give one lucky ticket holder an experience at sea. Ticket purchasers to this year’s Homes Tour are allowed free entry in a giveaway for a cruise on any cruise line out of Galveston Island, at any time of the year and for any destination.

Homes featured on this year’s tour are listed below, as well as separately ticketed special events held in conjunction with this year’s event.


Louis and Margaret Wenzel Cottage, 1870 – 2002 Avenue N ½  

Originally owned by Louis and Margaret Wenzel, early German immigrants to Galveston, this 1870s vernacular cottage has been moved twice. In 1959, the old house was moved from the front of the lot at the original location on Broadway, to the back, making room for a street-front commercial bicycle shop.

John L. Darragh Tenant House, 1886 – 1510 Church Street  

Originally located in the 1800 block of Postoffice Street, this double gallery, side hall Victorian was one of three identical structures built by John L. Darragh in 1886 as rental property after a fire in 1885 destroyed more than 40 blocks of homes, creating a housing shortage.

Restoration In Progress: McKinney-McDonald House, 1890 – 926 Winnie 

GHF purchased this formidable Victorian residence in January 2011 in order to save it from the threat of demolition. Built in 1890 for Liberty S. and Annie McKinney, the commanding 2 ½ story frame house was vacant since sustaining fire damage in 1993. GHF’s purchase of the McKinney-McDonald house continues the work of the Foundation’s Revolving Fund, celebrating its 40th year, which enables the stabilization of endangered properties in support of neighborhood revitalization.

Christian Wolfer Tenant Cottage, 1891 – 3101 Avenue Q  

Built in 1891 by German carpenter Christian L. Wolfer, this Victorian gable-front cottage was donated to GHF by the owners with the condition that the building be relocated. Moved by GHF in February, 2010, this Hurricane Ike ravaged structure was renovated by GHF and has received local, state and national awards.

Robert and Carrie Palliser House, 1895 – 1904 Avenue M

Prominent local contractor, Robert Palliser, built this raised three-bay, two-story house with double verandas in 1895 for his residence. An English immigrant, Palliser’s works included Galveston’s Grand Hotel and Opera House, the First National Bank Building and City Hall (demolished).

August J. Henck Cottage, 1897 – 1412 Sealy

In 1897, prominent German real estate broker and builder August J. Henck built this raised Victorian five-bay-wide cottage for his residence. The L-shape structure features a projecting chamfered bay, crowned by a gabled roof, with dove tail shingles and ornamental brackets at the cornice level.

Charles F. Rhode Co., Island City Cigar Factory, 1898 – 2001 Postoffice Street 

German immigrant Charles Rhode built this two-story, two-part commercial building in 1898, to house his business, the Island City Cigar Factory. A typical design for turn of the century commercial buildings, the first floor features double storefronts featuring display windows and double door entries.

Josephine Drouet House, 1898 – 1409 Avenue M

Built by French immigrant Josephine Chambord Drouet after the death of her husband, Sebastian, this classic dormered Queen Anne cottage has been moved twice. Saved from demolition by GHF in 2004, the house was moved to 1409 Avenue M.

Oscar and Laurence Hoecker House, 1916 – 3315 Avenue O

This two-story Craftsman with porte-cochere was built by Oscar Rudolph Hoecker and his wife, Laurence Eugenia. In 1916, the couple built this house and insurance records indicate construction was completed in 20 days. The house remained in the Hoecker family until 1979.

Louis and Anita Runge House, 1916 – 1301 Market Street

Architect Anton F. Korn, a representative of New York architects Crow, Lewis & Wickenhoefer, designed this Italian villa for prominent German businessman Louis H. Runge and his wife, Anita. Built in 1916, the house remained in the Runge family until 1988 when it was sold to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).


May 4 – Sunset on the Sand: A Kick-Off to the 38th Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour

Join GHF from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Beachtown Galveston, 1625 East Beach Drive, for a special evening at Galveston’s premiere beachfront community. Music will be provided by The Mambo Jazz Kings and hors d’oeurves, complimentary wine and beer and a fascinating tour of some of Beachtown’s finest properties will be available. A cash bar will be on hand for mixed drinks and dress is island casual. Price is $60 per person and includes a ticket to the Galveston Historic Homes Tour. Advance reservations required.

May 6 – Biking Through History Tour

One of the best ways to explore Galveston Island is by bicycle, where a person is able to take their time and soak in the Island’s history and beauty. GHF’s Matt Farragher will lead this popular tour through Galveston’s Downtown and East End Historic District highlighting historic properties, GHF projects, tree sculptures, and points of interest in between.

The tour begins at 10 a.m. at GHF Headquarters, 502 20th Street, and is $10 per person with signed waiver. Participants will need to provide their own bicycle and helmets and safety equipment are strongly encouraged. Tours are limited to 10 patrons and will last approximately one hour. Advance reservations required.

May 6 – Lemonade Day Galveston Stands at Each Home on Tour

GHF is proud to partner with the Galveston Chamber of Commerce to salute Lemonade Day, a nationwide event that teaches kids the skills they need to be successful in life. Each house on tour will feature a Lemonade Day stand and is the perfect opportunity for our community to show kids that we care. Come thirsty and support Galveston’s young entrepreneurs!

May 12 – Sally Wallace Preservation Awards

Each year GHF’s Preservation Resource Center hosts this award named in honor of a pivotal Galveston historic preservation pioneer. The annual award ceremony will be held at Menard Hall, 3302 Avenue O at 6 p.m. Projects, craftspeople and individuals that help improve the historic architecture of Galveston Island will be recognized and awarded. Admission is free.

May 12 – History on Tap: Mint Julep’s at Menard

History on Tap returns with Mint Julep’s at the 1838 Michel B. Menard House. Beginning at 7 p.m. and located at 1605 33rd Street, this ongoing series of events allows participants to interact with various GHF properties outside of the standard tour environment. Additionally, each event is paired with a different distillery or brewery that directly ties into the event’s discussion. Join GHF as Maker’s Mark is welcomed for a discussion on the history of this race day favorite and Galveston’s oldest surviving residential building. Admission is $15 per person and advance reservations are required

May 13 – Linen and Lace: A Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch and Fashion Show

A perfect start for Mother’s Day begins at the 1880 Garten Verein Pavilion, 2704 Avenue O, with the 8th annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch from 10 a.m. to noon. Attendees will enjoy a delicious brunch by Carriage Caterers and the latest spring/summer fashions by Galveston’s Head to Footsies boutique. All patrons are automatically entered to win fabulous door prizes! Linen and lace is the preferred attire. Admission is $45 per person and includes a Historic Homes Tour ticket. Advance reservations are required.


During the four days of the Homes Tour, ticket holders will be entitled to a $5 admission to the Bishop’s Palace, the  Texas Seaport Museum, and  Galveston’s oldest surviving residential dwelling, the 1838 Menard House (open Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. only), as well as a special $5 rate for a Historic Harbor Tour and Dolphin Watch aboard Seagull II.

During the four days of the Homes Tour, tour ticket holders will also receive $5 admission to Bishop’s Palace, Texas Seaport Museum, 1877 Tall Ship ELISA and Historic Harbor Tour and Dolphin Watch.

For more information on Galveston Historical Foundation’s 38th Annual Galveston Homes Tour or any of the associated special events, please contact Will Wright, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at 409-765-3404, will.wright@galvestonhistory.org or visit http://www.galvestonhistory.org.