||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (March 2013)|
The Hotel Galvez in 2006
|Location||2024 Seawall Blvd
|Governing body||Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC|
|NRHP Reference #||79002944|
|Added to NRHP||April 4, 1979|
The Hotel Galvez is a historic hotel located in Galveston, Texas, United States that opened in 1911. The building was named the Galvez, honoring Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez, for whom the city was named. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 4, 1979.
Galveston civic leaders planned on building the Galvez Hotel in 1898 after a fire destroyed another large hotel (the Beach Hotel) on Galveston Island. After the Hurricane of 1900, the plans accelerated in order to draw tourists back to the island. The hotel was designed by Mauran, Russell & Crowell of St. Louis, Missouri using a combination of Mission Revival and Spanish Revival styles. The hotel opened in June 1911 at a cost of $1 million.
On October 3, 1940, the Galvez Hotel was acquired by William Lewis Moody, Jr. During World War II, the hotel was occupied by the United States Coast Guard for two years and rooms were not rented to tourists. The Galvez's importance to the local economy was restored after the war, particularly during the late 1940s and early 1950s when gambling was popular in Galveston. However, when the illegal gambling industry was shut down in the mid 1950s by the Texas Rangers, the local economy became depressed and the Galvez deteriorated.
The hotel received a major refurbishing in 1965. In 1971, the hotel was acquired by Harvey O. McCarthey and Dr. Leon Bromberg. In 1979, another major renovation to the hotel was initiated by Denton Cooley, who purchased the hotel in 1978, and it became a Marriott franchise in 1989. The hotel was purchased in April 1995 by Galveston native and real estate developer George P. Mitchell. Mitchell restored the hotel to its historic 1911 look. While owned by Mitchell Historic Properties, a 1996 management agreement gave day-to-day operational control to Wyndham Hotels & Resorts under the name Hotel Galvez. The hotel has 226 rooms and suites.
During Hurricane Ike in 2008, the hotel lost clay tiles from its roof and was flooded on its lower level, where the spa, health club, business offices, and laundry were located. The hotel was built in 1911, eleven years after the devastating hurricane that killed some 6,000 Galveston Island residents and leveled most of the buildings on the island. The hotel occupies the site where the Beach Hotel, Electric Pavilion, and Pagoda Bathhouse once stood.
The Galvez was referred to as "The Playground of the Southwest" mostly for wealthy socialites, businessmen, and celebrities. American Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson stayed at the Galvez, as did General Douglas MacArthur. Other notable names include Jimmy Stewart, Frank Sinatra, and Howard Hughes. Many of the 6th and 7th floor Junior and Senior suites are named for these famous and infamous personalities.
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- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15.
- Carmack, Liz. Historic Hotels of Texas, Texas A&M University Press: College Station, Texas, 2007. pp 47–49.
- Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, a Historic Hotels of America member. Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- "Galvez Hotel" Texas Historic Sites Atlas. Retrieved Dec 27, 2008.
- Wirstiuk, Laryssa. "Hotel Galvez Reopens After Hurricane Ike". Preservation Magazine. Retrieved Dec 27, 2008.