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Galveston in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Washington Hotel

1873

 
 
Washington Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
1. Washington Hotel Marker
Inscription.
In 1873 John Parker Davie had erected on this corner a four-story sixty-room hotel. Originally the Cosmopolitan, it was renamed the Washington the year after the famous old Washington Hotel at 21st and Mechanic Street burned down in the fire of 1877.

The structure, as pictured here, was a late Greek Revival four-story brick building with simple classic details. The exterior brick walls were stuccoed and scored to resemble stone and sprinkled with marble dust. On the ground floor were French doors with fanlight transoms set in arches. The narrow windows of the upper floors were topped with plain hoodmolds. The entrance to' the hotel was on Mechanic Street.

"On the surface an example of very late Galveston Greek Revival, the Washington Hotel is in fact a combination of styles. How did it happen that a building of this size and importance was built in a style of almost fifty years old… Whatever the answer, the Washington Hotel cements and reflects the love affair with the Greek Revival seen everywhere in the Galveston vernacular architecture of the time - the houses built by carpenters in what was known as the "Galveston style," wrote Howard Barnstone in The Galveston That Was.

John Parker Davie, a native of Wales, was a pioneer businessman of Galveston. A tinner and coppersmith by trade, he came to Galveston in 1838 and started in the hardware business with W.R. Wilson in a small wooden building on the east side of Tremont between Strand and Mechanic Street, the same building where the first issues of The Galveston
Washington Hotel Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
2. Washington Hotel Marker (tall view)
Daily News
were printed. When the partnership was severed in 1842, Davie continued the business and built on this site one of the first brick buildings in the city. Here Borden's Condensed Milk was first sold. That building was razed to make room for the hotel. Next to the hotel on the east side was the four-story building that housed the J.P. Davie Hardware Company. This building, in contrast to the hotel, utilized exposed brick in its facade and decorative cast iron on the first floor.

Largely vacant since 1973, the two buildings were bought in 1978 by the Revolving Fund of the Galveston Historical Foundation and sold with deed restrictions to George and Cynthia Mitchell in 1982. After surviving Hurricane Alicia, both structures were severely damaged by a fire on August 26, 1983. In 1986, the Mitchells undertook to reconstruct the hotel and restore the J.P. Davie Building.
 
Location. 29° 18.385′ N, 94° 47.643′ W. Marker is in Galveston, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is at the intersection of 23rd Street and Mechanic Street, on the right when traveling north on 23rd Street. Touch for map. Marker is located on the sidewalk, beside the subject building, just north of the intersection. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2228 Mechanic Street, Galveston TX 77550, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rice, Baulard & Company Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tremont Houses (within shouting distance of this marker); Leon & H. Blum Co. Building
Washington Hotel Marker (<i>side 2; wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
3. Washington Hotel Marker (side 2; wide view)
(within shouting distance of this marker); 1871 Thomas Jefferson League Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thomas Jefferson League Building (about 300 feet away); Mardi Gras in Galveston (about 300 feet away); Davidson Building (about 300 feet away); Powell Arch (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Galveston.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Washington Hotel. The history of Galveston's Washington Hotel (in its various incarnations) now spans well over 150 years. Never was it able to compete with the prestige of the Tremont Hotel, yet it was considered by most to be in the top tier of island hostelries during the nineteenth century. During the Great Galveston Storm of 1900 there were several stories related to the Washington Hotel. One unidentified survivor said. "At 2 o'clock my wife and I waded into the Washington Hotel. From that time on the wind grew stronger. At 5 o'clock the water was six feet deep in the lower floor of the Washington Hotel. Why, it covered the telephone box in the office." (Submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Galveston's Golden Era. At the end of the 19th century, the city of Galveston was a booming metropolis with a population of 37,000. Its position on the natural harbor of Galveston Bay along the Gulf of Mexico made it
Marker detail: Washington Hotel Photo (<i>side 2, close-up</i>) image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Washington Hotel Photo (side 2, close-up)
the center of trade in Texas, and one of the largest cotton ports in the nation, in competition with New Orleans. During the mid 19th century, Galveston, emerged as an international city with immigration and trade from around the U.S. and around the world. The island has sometimes been called the "Ellis Island of the West" as it was the primary point of entry for European immigrants settling in the western United States. German immigration during this period was so great that the German language became a commonly used language on the city's streets. (Submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings
 
Washington Hotel (<i>west side [23rd Street] view; marker visible edge-on, right of center</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
5. Washington Hotel (west side [23rd Street] view; marker visible edge-on, right of center)
Washington Hotel (<i>south side [Mechanic Street] view; marker visible at left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
6. Washington Hotel (south side [Mechanic Street] view; marker visible at left)
Washington Hotel (<i>southwest corner view; marker visible left of center</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
7. Washington Hotel (southwest corner view; marker visible left of center)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 25, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   4. submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   5, 6, 7. submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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