The architecture of Galveston's golden age: Cast iron facades in the Strand District
Shanks, Carol Yarnell
Widrig, Walter M.
Master of Architecture
In the nineteenth century, Galveston was a highly successful port city; it capitalized on the production and shipping of Texas cotton. The commercial buildings erected during the heyday of its prosperity, many of which still exist today, embody the sense of civic pride the Galvestonians held for their city. Architectural cast iron had been touted and utilized heavily in the Northeast, especially New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. Rapidly expanding, provincial cities around the country adopted the material to give their new buildings instant flair, yet allow them to adhere to an established architectural vocabulary. While some of Galveston's iron fronts resembled those adorning buildings in other American cities, the overall look in Galveston was distinctive because it was based on Galveston's unique circumstances and good Texan practicality. This thesis will treat these several topics in detail.
Art history; Architecture