The Galveston East End Historical District Association
The East End Historical District
Comprised of over 50 city blocks bounded on the south by Broadway, the east by 10th Street, the north by Mechanic Avenue and the west by 19th Street, the East End Historic District in Galveston Texas is on the National Register of Historic Places as well as designated a National Historic Landmark. This neighborhood is made up of the large residential area east of Downtown Galveston. With its relatively higher land, and its convenient access to the Downtown area, many of the first residents as well as most prominent citizens of 19th-Century Galveston chose to build their homes. The more affluent people built in the area closest to Broadway and adjacent to downtown. Moving further north and east, there are a greater variety of residential dwellings ranging from small, simple cottages originally built for the working class to large, elaborate houses for the wealthier. Reflecting a variety of styles and periods, the earliest homes are fine examples of Greek Revival style were built during the 1850's.
At the far north east corner of the East End neighborhood is the University of Texas Medical School complex (UTMB). This area is dominated by UTMB, which includes some historical buildings on campus, such as Old Red.
Forty blocks of the East End became the City’s first historic district in 1971. Later an additional 18 blocks were included so that The East End Historic District now covers a large portion of what was, and is, the most prestigious residential area in Galveston.
Experience the Appeal of Galveston's "Gilded Age"
People who visit Galveston, either or pleasure or business, usually take the time to visit the East End Historic District particularly if they are interested in seeing some extraordinary Victorian homes that have been lovingly restored. By walking the tree-lined streets of the District, you will experience the appeal of Galveston's "Gilded Age" of charm.
The East End Historic District’s old homes have withstood the test of time and the elements, notably, the often-destructive hurricanes that blow in from the Gulf of Mexico. After suffering from the damaging waters and winds of Hurricane Ike in 2008, district has turned from a progressively bleak pattern of decay into a thriving, welcoming neighborhood whose homeowners are now enjoying increased property values and desirability.
What Happened to Galveston's Oak Trees in the East End Historical District?
After Hurricane Ike thousands of majestic oak trees in the East End Historic District died as the result of the damaging combination of powerful wind and waves which uprooted many trees, and the salty storm waters. The East End Historic District, as did other neighborhoods in Galveston, lost its beautiful tree canopy. Large dead trunk and branches were all that remained.
The Ike’s damage particularly to the majestic oak trees that once canopied over the streets of the East End Historical District drastically changed the landscape of the neighborhood. Optimistic residents worked with area sculptors who breathed a second life into the dead trunks transforming them into stunning and often whimsical tree sculptures that are now the focus of a Galveston Tree Sculptures Tour. The 30-plus sculptures are tucked into gardens and nestled in side yards throughout Galveston's East End Historic District. The 30-plus sculptures are so popular they now make up a formal Hurricane Ike Tree Sculptures Tour.
Similarly, many of the district's Victorian structures have undergone amazing facelifts halting what was once a progressively bleak pattern of decay and turning the district into a thriving, welcoming neighborhood.
Although Galveston has been reinvented as a tourist destination, with many of those tourists visiting the East End Historic District’s for both the Victorian architecture and the tree sculptures, remember that this district is also an established neighborhood with a cultural and ethnic mix that enriches the quality of life for all who live there. We now have several fine schools to serve the youngest residents. In addition, those of us who live here enjoy the proximity to Galveston's business district, University of Texas Medical Branch, and the Historic Strand District.
About the East End Historical District Association
Formed in the early 1970’s by concerned residents to preserve and maintain the heritage and livability of their east end neighborhood, the East End Historical District Association (EEHDA) has two main goals: historical preservation and to provide a high quality of life for all neighborhood residents. For example our block parties are open to the public. We encourage nonmembers, as well as people living outside the east end to attend. The EEHDA works closely with city agencies, including the Galveston Police Department, City Council and the Landmark Commission, as well as surrounding historic neighborhoods to achieve their goals.
Membership in EEHDA is open to anyone. You don’t need to reside within the boundaries of the East End Historic District. Our meetings are held at The Cottage located at 1501 Postoffice Street at 6:00 pm on the first Thursday of each month.
EEHDA sponsers a number of annual functions including a Victorian Christmas Homes Tour, Christmas Lights Contest, Block Parties for the community and visitors such as Fat Tuesday Pre-Parade Party, Casino Night and a Fall Garden Tour at various gardens across the east end. In addition EEHDA publishes an East End Homes Walking Tour brochure, maintains Alderdice Park, Darragh Park, and The Cottage. They also have periodic neighborhood clean-ups.
If you read EEHDA Monthly Newsletters, you find a vibrant, energetic group of people working together.
What was EEHDA NeighborWoods?
Organized by the East End Historical District Association and funded by a grant from the Home Depot Foundation, the Galveston County Recovery Committee, in cooperation with the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy, Texas Forest Service, and the Galveston City Tree Committee, the EEHDA NeighborWoods is a volunteer program whose goal is to replant 200 shade trees in Galveston’s Historic East End Neighborhood by April 1st, 2010
Based upon similar successful reforestation projects in Austin, Texas, Chicago, Illinois and other locations, the EEHDA NeighborWoods was created to combat the devastating loss of trees from salt water poisoning caused by Hurricane Ike in September, 2008. Of all the Galveston neighborhoods, the East End Historical District suffered the greatest tree loss. More than 80% of the trees killed were from the 12+ hour inundation of sea water as a result of Hurricane Ike’s fifteen foot storm surge.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Home Depot Foundation and the Galveston County Recovery Committee, all trees were provided at no cost to the residents with the caveat that they promised to care for and water their tree for at least two years.
For the first planting season, the EEHDA NeighborWoods program focus was on the major east-west streets in the East End: Sealy, , Church, Postoffice Ball, Winnie and Market, between 10th street on the east and 19th street on the west side of the district.
Tree locations had to meet both the new Galveston right-of-way planting guidelines as well as be located adjacent to a residence with a homeowner who were willing to care for the tree.
By March 2010 all two hundred trees were planted!