Unloading Galveston’s Bishop’s Palace

UNLOADING GALVESTON’S BISHOP’S PALACE The Galveston-Houston Archdiocese has put up for sale the 1892 Bishop’s Palace, a.k.a. Gresham’s Castle, at 14th and Broadway. The price? $3 million. But the archdiocese isn’t going to let just anyone buy the 17,420-sq.-ft. Victorian clergy digs-turned-museum — at least not for a while: “The Galveston Historical Foundation has an exclusive right until the end of this month to raise . . . the money or the archdiocese can open the sale to all comers,” reports the Houston Chronicle. Foundation director W. Dwayne Jones tells the Chronicle that they’ve already raised $2.3 million. And why the sale? “Jones said the archdiocese has been looking to get out of the museum business for a while. ‘They are in the business of saving souls.'” [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Galveston Historical Foundation

15 Comment

  • I was wondering when this story would turn up. For some reason I have a very bad feeling about this. 700 grand by the end of the month, in Galveston, is going to be tough to raise, especially since they’ve already tapped the region for 2.3 million.

    I hope I’m wrong. But we could be looking at a boutique hotel or a private residence instead of one of the country’s best house museums.

  • Maybe someone will make it into a seafood restaurant and amusement park. Is there room on the property for a ferris wheel?

  • Hopefully a deal can be made with the Galveston Historical Foundation. Or another organization to keep this mansion, a splendid museum. I visited the mansion for the first time last year and I was amazed by it’s grandor. I thought the name, the Bishop’s Palace, was a misnomer since it was originally owned by the Gresham family and the Bishop had lived there for a fraction of the home’s history. Three decades is a fraction of a house built in the late 1800’s. I hope the new owners “renamed” the mansion after ther original owners.

  • Chop it up and sell as condos

  • Tear it down and build a parking lot. I saw a homeless person near there one time.

  • We can laugh, nervously, about the idea to tear down for a parking lot but there were several other grand houses on Broadway that met that exact fate in the 1960s, before Galveston got serious about preservation.

  • I don’t understand why the archdiocese just doesn’t give it to the Historical Foundation or reduce the price. If it’s considered church property, they probably don’t pay any taxes on the home, and I assume they got some of the revenue from the museum. It just seems stingy to me. I’d hate to see that marvelous home fall into private hands.

  • We toured there last summer and they mentioned they were trying to raise a substantial amount of money to make repairs, one of the more significant ones was a new roof.

  • Roadchick, probably the Archdiocese got the idea somewhere that that property is worth three million. I don’t know where but for the sake of argument let’s assume it’s reasonably accurate. They can’t just donate that to another non-profit, they have to account for its value. That’s way too much cash to walk away from. Now, will anyone who’s looking for a three-million dollar house want to live on Broadway in a 120-year-old house across from a church? Especially one which would require quite a bit of modernizing to meet today’s standards? Not me; I’d be in Pirates Beach in a heartbeat if I had that kind of money. All that said, it wouldn’t surprise me if near the end of the month, if the money is close, they work _something_ out. The diocese isn’t going to want the PR nightmare if they block a deal that gets close to what they want. At least, since Galveston has some teeth in their preservation ordinance, the building probably won’t be substantially altered.

  • “Saving souls……” BWAHAHAHAHAHAA! Oh…the irony. Wanna wager they are selling to settle some of the judgements against them for sheltering their pedophile priests? They are the worlds largest pedophile ring.

  • Wait! What do the HLS&R and the Texans say we should do???

  • This house is such a treasure, the Archdoices should give this house to Galveston, the tours thru the years have more then paid for the house and frankly the Archdioces has been a poor custodian of the greatest house in Texas, they’ve allowed it to deteriorate and have always treated it as a cash cow without putting money needed for repairs back in it. I’m thrilled the Historical Society will now own it, it just a shame the church didn’t have the class to give this Great House back to Galveston instead of soaking them for 3 million

  • Hdtex with the Catholic-baiting comment of the day. Let he who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone.

  • It really needs first-floor retail.

  • It has first-floor retail. I’ve been there. It’s called the gift shop. ;-)