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Bishop's Livin GOOD!
The website reports that Bishop's Palace is actually on a list of 100 most important buildings! The weekend I went it didn't seem that important as no one was around but nonetheless, it is a wonderful sight to see. I didn't get a chance to go inside this past visit as I just missed the tour and did not want to sit outside in the heat for an hour. However, I'm sure I've been in it many times as a kid, before the travel bug bit.
This is in 1000 Places to See Before You Die USA!!!!!!
Here's more info. from the site:
Galveston’s grandest and best-known building, the Bishop’s Palace is an ornate delight of colored stone, intricately carved ornaments, rare woods, stained-glass windows, bronze dragons and other sculptures, luxury materials and furnishings, and impressive fireplaces from around the world (including one lined with pure silver!).
Built by lawyer Colonel Walter Gresham and designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston’s premier architect, this Victorian castle was cited by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 100 most important buildings in America. The home was built from 1886 to 1892.
If you can only visit one of Galveston’s architectural treasures, the exquisite Bishop’s Palace is the one to see. The building is owned by the Galveston-Houston Catholic Archdioces, and is managed as a museum by Galveston Historical Foundation.
Students 6-18: $7
Family Pass: $28
Children 5 & Under: Free
Adult prearranged group tours (20+): $6.50 per person
For ticket and tour information, call (409)762-2475.
3-part pkg. admission to Ashton Villa, Moody Mansion & Bishop's Palace: $19
The Luxurious Bishop's Palace
There was an open house at the Bishop's Palace on Sunday, so we entered this three-story palace admission-free.
It is constructed "of Texas limestone in ashlar patterns and decorated with bands of gray and pink granite and red sandstone."
Walter Gresham, lawyer, lobbyist, railroader and politician constructed the home in 1892. At the time, there was a flurry of competitive building along Broadway. Mr. Gresham's home was "over the top" even for this time and age, costing $125,000 to erect. It was already being referred to as a "birdcage palace" in 1895 by a Harper's Weekly journalist.
As we moved through the mansion, we noted the carved mahogany columns and marble and brass fireplaces. A grand staircase swept to the upper stories with beautiful stained glass accents and rich paneling. There were pastoral and cherubic paintings on ceilings and walls. Crystal chandeliers and parquet floors graced many of the rooms. Everything seemed to be the best and most expensive materials! (Please take time to see the additional photos)
In 1923 the Catholic Diocese of Galveston purchased this property, which became the official residence of the Bishop. A beautiful chapel is on the second floor, complete with altar and vestments. Canopied beds and lavish window treatments all paint a picture of genteel luxury. If you can only see one house--see this one!
*For more information see Galveston Architecture Guidebook by Ellen Beasley and Stephen Fox by Rice University Press and Galveston Historical Foundation.
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
- Castles and Palaces
Located on Broadway St., Bishop's Palace is one of the oldest and most beautiful mansions in all of Galveston. Originally completed in 1893, it was built and owned by Walter Gresham, a former U.S Congressman. The Catholic Diocese of Galveston purchased it in 1923 intending it to be the official residence of the bishop, even though only 1 bishop ever lived in it. In 1963 the church opened up the building as a museum. The wonderful architecture, both inside and out, make it a very popular attraction on the island. Built of limestone, sandstone, and granite, the structure has a very unique look to it on the outside. And it's gorgeous woodwork on the inside can impress any visitor that passes through. Bishop's Palace is open daily, and tours are generally given on the 1/2 hour.
Visit historic homes
The Bishop's Palace
This ornate building was begun in 1886 and completed in 1893, at a cost of $250,000. The building was originally home to the family of Walter Gresham, a former Confederate colonel and U.S. Congressman. The Catholic diocese owned the structure from the 1920s to middle 1950s. The palace is ranked among the top 100 homes in the nation for its architectural significance, and features woodwork of rosewood, satinwood and white mahogany, and various fireplaces from all over the world. The mantle in the front ballroom won first prize at the Philadelphia World's Fair in 1876. Tours offered every 1/2 hour. Gift shop on premises.
Adults $6; Seniors 65+: $5; Teens: $3; Kids 12 & Under: $1
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