Galveston’s Flagship Hotel Fades into the Sunset, Leaves a Few Big Chunks in the Gulf

Onlookers are reporting that large portions of Galveston’s Flagship Hotel are finding their way into the water below the 25th St. pier. The hotel’s owner, Landry’s Restaurants, is demolishing the building to make room for an amusement-park-style entertainment complex which you might reasonably assume won’t include any under-the pier attractions. The 225-room hotel closed permanently after Hurricane Ike.

Galveston real estate agent Billy Hill has posted an anonymous eyewitness account that a front-end loader operated by the Grant Mackay Demolition Co. pushed several portions of the building into the bay, including the section of framing that disappeared in the interval between these 2 photos:


When i gestured to them with my WTF arms spread wide, one of them did it back to me. . . . I saw it last week twice, but most was incidental as they were pulling back on the outer room walls with the plate glass windows. today and yesterday, it was much more negligent. it was a deliberate act.

Landry’s hired Houston’s Ardent Construction to demolish the hotel and build the new development on the pier last year. A net put in place to catch large pieces of debris was placed too high to catch anything below the 4th floor, Hill’s witness reports.

they were using that bobcat to push the walls and frames outward– not pullling them inward. . . . once they did drop stuff, they should file a report to the necessary parties, so action can be taken to rectify and mitigate. . . . Some one will be seriously hurt soon. there is A LOT of glass down there.

Photos: Billy Hill

20 Comment

  • The Flagship has never looked better. I won’t miss it at all.

  • You’d be amazed at how quickly glass wears down in the surf. It’s nature’s rock tumbler. I’m more concerned with the bulkier stuff, though, and I do agree that there’s a problem.

  • Regular people can’t just go around pushing pieces of buildings into the bay but it’s okay for Landry’s and the construction company they hired. Money speaks louder than responsible actions. I am so tired of wealthy people doing what they want.

  • It will be a new artificial reef, uhm yeah right…

  • Where is he putting the ferris wheel?

  • It is the Gulf of Mexico not Galveston Bay, when was the last time anyone swam there? The beach was crap the first time I visited in 1980 and it certainly has not improved.

  • Are you kidding cross? I take my kids there every couple of weeks all summer and we are in and out of the water all day. I don’t know what it used to be like in the 80s but when we go to Stewart beach now the water is clear, we see dolphins almost every visit and fish literally swim between your toes periodically. I didn’t go down there for a couple of years after moving out here because of the horror stories I heard. They were nonsense then and they’re still nonsense now.

  • @Cross: Yep, it is the Gulf. We’ve adjusted the headline to fix the error.

  • Cross, please do not go to the beach, go ahead and believe all that you hear. I am a native to Houston and find it to be offensive when people badmouth Galveston, so one less blow hard is a great relief. Have a great time scoring the waves and bullets in Acupulco.

  • All the locals surf under FS.

    No kooks allowed, and that means YOU! Cross.

  • Cross, just because you are embarrassed to be seen in a swimsuit doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t like to swim @ Galveston.

  • Yet another reason to avoid patronizing the Fertitta/Landry’s restaurants (not to mention the mediocre Sysco-esque food)

  • I think they are just trying to gauge how locals will react to the inevitable day when the ferris wheel gets blown into the gulf by the next (heaven forbid) hurricane.

  • It’s Mardi Gras – annoy not King Frivolous XCVI with these petty details of common life, ye simple folk!

  • Cross maybe you think it’s crap but it could have just been how the light was reflecting in the water back at you. Galveston is beautiful! Quit being such a snob. No matter to any of that though; it is still not legal to dump a building into the water!

  • From Judy:
    No matter to any of that though; it is still not legal to dump a building into the water!

    Apparently you aren’t familiar with the Fertitta family. Emphasis on family.

    Personally I’d be more worried about being devoured by the mutant shrimp no doubt being spawned in all the oil that is lying on the bottom of the Gulf. Jumbo shrimp indeed.

  • Fertitta is a slimeball and this deliberate trashing is therefore no surprise.

    will be there early morning and late
    night . . . . FUN for the WHO FAMILY!
    in a few years when the important fastening components on them Tilliman
    carnival rides fail, get ready to GO SWIMMIN’ ! ! ! Last one in’s a


  • Matt Mystery,
    Snarky or not, crude oil is less of a mutagen than good old-fashioned sunlight.
    Put on sunblock and forget the horror stories. Fish jumping out of the water just feet in front of you is a GOOD sign, a sign of a living ecosystem.

  • When you live as far inland as I do any beach is welcome. Galveston is fine. Its not like the shores of the Caribbean but I don’t live there. Go to Galveston enjoy the beach the sand the shells