Beach Hotel (Galveston)

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The Beach Hotel
Beach hotel galveston.jpg
General information
TypeWood-frame hotel
LocationGalveston, Texas
Coordinates29°17′20″N 94°47′19″W / 29.2889°N 94.7886°W / 29.2889; -94.7886Coordinates: 29°17′20″N 94°47′19″W / 29.2889°N 94.7886°W / 29.2889; -94.7886
OwnerWilliam H. Sinclair
Technical details
Floor count4.5
Design and construction
ArchitectNicholas J. Clayton

The Beach Hotel was a seasonal resort in Galveston, Texas. Designed by architect Nicholas J. Clayton, it was built in 1882 at a price of US$260,000 (US$6.97 million in today's terms) to cater to vacationers. Owned by William H. Sinclair, the hotel opened on July 4, 1883 and was destroyed by a mysterious fire in 1898.[1][2]

The front lawn of the beach hotel "provided a site for summer entertainment-fireworks, high-wire walkers, and bands."[3]


The 4+12-story hotel was built atop 300 cedar piles driven into the sand.[1] The roof had an octagonal dome, which housed the water tanks, and was painted in large red and white stripes, and the eaves were trimmed in a golden green.[2]


The following were some of the attributes of the hotel.[2]

  • Dining room
  • Gentlemen's parlor
  • Reading room
  • Saloon
  • Grand staircase
  • Electric and gas lighting


In 1898, the Beach Hotel was discovered to have been flushing its cesspools via pipe into the Gulf of Mexico. The city health official regarded this practice as "absolutely disgusting and disgraceful" and refused to allow the hotel to open until it connected to the city's sewage system. In the interim before the hotel connected, it mysteriously burned down.[2]


The hotel was destroyed by fire lasting 25 minutes in 1898. The fire trucks had a problem reaching the hotel because of the beach's sand. The cause of the fire was never determined. At least one musician was reported dead from the incident.[2]


  1. ^ a b Kearney, Syd (2000-08-20). "The New York of the Gulf". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Collection of newspaper sources". 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2007-10-06.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Collection of newspaper sources". Retrieved 2007-10-06. The front lawn provided a site for summer entertainment-fireworks, high-wire walkers, and bands.[dead link]