Galveston in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Rice, Baulard & Company Building
The three row buildings at 213-217 Tremont, their exteriors now restored, were constructed in 1870 by Rice, Baulard & Company, a major supplier of paints, oils, varnish and window glass in Texas and Louisiana in the 1800's.
Victor Baulard immigrated in 1845 to Galveston from France at the age of 16 and apprenticed himself to Joseph Rice to learn the trade of paint making. Mr. Rice stated he never had a more conscientious apprentice, and in 1853 the two men became partners.
Although the firm dates from 1859 at this location, this block of Tremont was left a mass of smouldering ruins by the terrible Moro Castle Fire of December 3, 1869. Soon after the fire, the firm began construction of the present buildings.
Rice, Baulard & Company was the largest business of its kind in the region. It owned the Galveston Paint Company, selling some 10,000 gallons of paint per year; ground its own paint; and carried a full line of wallpaper and window shades.
Other occupants of the buildings have included the Sunny South Saloon, a well-known men's club on the second floor of 213 Tremont in the latter 1800's,
To the left of the buildings was the site of the Palmetto Hotel, a large frame building destroyed in the 1869 fire. After the fire the lower three floors of the present hotel building (then called The Royal) were erected, the fourth floor was added about 1895 and three more sometime later (with the seventh floor removed in 1928).
The building at 217 Tremont had its exterior restored and interior adapted for townflats in 1974-75 by Emily Whiteside. Architects Ford, Powell, and Carson added a three-story atrium in this handsome adaption.
The exteriors of the buildings at 213 and 215 Tremont were restored and interiors developed for shops and apartments in 1976-77 by Daniel Kempner Thorne. Taft Architects used a dramatic contemporary design on the interiors.
The Galveston Historical Foundation holds preservation deed restrictions on all three buildings.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Disasters • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1870.
Location. 29° 18.391′ N, 94° 47.657′ W. Marker is in Galveston, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is on 23rd Street north of Mechanic Street, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located on Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 217 23rd Street, Galveston TX 77550, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Washington Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tremont Houses (within shouting distance of this marker); W. P. Ballinger Law Firm (within shouting distance of this marker); 1871 Thomas Jefferson League Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Leon & H. Blum Co. Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Berlocher Row (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Jefferson League Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Mardi Gras in Galveston (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Galveston.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2018. It was originally submitted on June 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 221 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on June 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.