Galveston is just about one of my favorite damn places in the world. It’s a place of bizarre beauty, shocking decay, bright colors and nearly all forms of decadence. I’ve been going there for the last 10 years every 4th of July weekend for an extended family reunion at a shorefront hotel. Long-overdue relaxation on beach is almost too good to get away from sometimes; swimming in the bathtub-warm Gulf water is also one of my favorite things in this world. Some years it’s impossible to tear myself away, and frankly too hot, to go for a walk and take photos of one of the most unique downtown areas in the U.S. Galveston was the (long e) premiere cosmopolitan city from about the post-Civil War era through the 1950’s, as the main shipping and exporting port and cultural center of the vast state, till the oil wealth of Houston overtook it, and other cities matured their own industries by the 60’s. Today, it’s an impoverished town with a tourist facade. But there’s an immense wealth of historic industrial, retail, cultural and residential architecture, all inspired by the golden industrial age of the early 1900’s and the flamboyance of seaside flora – all largely empty or in a sad state of repair. While I find something fascinating on about every square inch of every house or building, I also feel that worrying about capturing the moment on film, or should I say pixels, ruins it. Nature, history, economics and architecture: you can see why I enjoy this town so much.

I happened to have time for a downtown walk as I went in search of good coffee one morning (I found it at Mod Coffeehouse on Postoffice Street). This was the perfect time to go: very little street or pedestrian traffic, and tolerable weather before the sun had thoroughly steamed the humid air.

old hotel
Old Hotel

The Past Is Present

Industrial Decay

envelope slot
Envelope Slot

Galveston Electric Company
Galveston Electric Company

industrial decay
Industrial Decay

empty lot

Martini Theater

Stork Club wall

bougainvillea balcony
Bougainvillea Morning

door to…

O’Malley’s Irish Pub

apartment foyer
Apartment foyer at night

R 1/2 Street

candid camera
Smile… you’re in the ghetto!

dog mailbox

yard sculptures and benches
Sculpture Garden

 seaside motel
Seaside Motel

Leave a Comment