Monday, January 17, 2011

Bishop's Palace

I have been to Galveston oodles of times but I haven’t ever really taken the time to check out its historic architecture. Realizing this, last week my buddy Sarah and I took a drive over to Galveston Island with the hope of visiting Moody Mansion and Bishops Palace.

It was pretty cold outside (I think a high of 43 on the island) so there were not many other tourist once we got down there.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of tourism, Moody Mansion had decided to close for the day for cleaning (Booooo).

We were worried the long drive down to Galveston had been in vain, but luckily for us Bishops Palace was still up and running!

Bishop’s Palace was built by lawyer Colonel Walter Gresham and designed by Nicholas Clayton (Galveston’s premier Victorian architect).

Recently, it was cited by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 100 most important buildings in America and it was easy to see why once we stepped inside.

The home was filled with ornate colored stone, intricately carved rare woods, stained glass windows, and many lavish materials and furnishings that were original to the home. Pretty impressive when you consider the house has been through both the 1900 storm and 2008’s Hurricane Ike.

A photo of Bishop's Palace from National Geographic after the 1900 storm.

A photo of Bishop's palace as we know it today, taken from Virtual Tourist.

Our tour was only of the first two floors and took about an hour. 
There are tours of the entire home one Saturday a month so I’m hoping to go back sometime soon to see the rest.

While searching for the next date of the whole house tour I found this crazy video on

Apparently, in 2007, became the first tourism-bureau website to feature its destination in the virtual reality world of Second Life. The project captured a Stevie Award for best multimedia.

Since Galveston is so close I’d rather see the island, and the rest of Bishop’s Palace in person, but who knows… maybe if I can’t make it back there I’ll check it out on Second Life. J

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