Ashton Villa, another fine example of the Victorian Italianate style houses the Galveston Island Visitors Centre and has an interesting connection to the Civil War and served as the home for the headquarters for the Confederate Army during the War. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger took possession of Ashton Villa and read his “General Order No. 3” from the balcony declaring freedom for slaves.
One of the larger historical collections of Victorian homes is located on the East End near The Strand and includes the Bishop’s Palace. The Palace is a Victorian adaption of the Renaissance style and was built from 1886-1892 for the railroad magnate Colonel Walter Gresham and his family and is estimated to have cost $250,000 (over 5.5 million today) and was cited as one of the 100 most important buildings in America. Featuring stain-glass windows, rare woods, exotic marbles, impressive fireplaces and furnishings, the original hand-painted murals remain intact.
Wall Street of the South
Galveston remains one of the most superb collections of Victorian architecture in America. Galveston boasts six historical districts with many well-preserved examples of all manner of Victorian-inspired beauties and over 60 structures are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Incorporated in 1839, Galveston was once the Texas State Capital, the largest city in Texas and the second wealthiest city in America, the “Wall Street of the South”, and many historical and influential people in Texas history made Galveston their home.