Galveston, TX: Wikis

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City of Galveston
—  City  —

Seal
Nickname(s): The Oleander City[1]
Galvo[2]
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates: 29°16′52″N 94°49′33″W / 29.28111°N 94.82583°W / 29.28111; -94.82583Coordinates: 29°16′52″N 94°49′33″W / 29.28111°N 94.82583°W / 29.28111; -94.82583
Country United States
State Texas
Counties Galveston
Incorporated 1839
Government
 - Type Council–manager
 - Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas
Area
 - Total 208.3 sq mi (539.6 km2)
 - Land 46.1 sq mi (119.5 km2)
 - Water 162.2 sq mi (420.1 km2)
Elevation 7 ft (2 m)
Population (2005)
 - Total 57,466
 Density 1,240.3/sq mi (478.9/km2)
 - Demonym Galvestonian
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 77550-77555
Area code(s) 409
FIPS code 48-28068[3]
GNIS feature ID 1377745[4]
Website www.cityofgalveston.org

Galveston (pronounced /ˈɡælvɨstən/) is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a total population of 57,466 within an area of 208 square miles (540 km2). Located within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the city is the seat and second-largest city of Galveston County in population.

Named after Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez, Galveston's first European settlements on the island were constructed around 1816. The Port of Galveston was established in 1825 by the Congress of Mexico following its successful revolution from Spain. The city served as the main port for the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution and later served as the capital of the Republic of Texas.

During the 19th century, Galveston became a major U.S. commercial center and one of the largest ports in the United States. Galveston is known for the hurricane that devastated the city in 1900. The natural disaster that followed still counts as the most deadly in American history.

Much of Galveston's modern economy is centered in the tourism, health care, shipping and financial industries. The 84-acre (340,000 m2) University of Texas Medical Branch campus with an enrollment of more than 2,500 students is a major economic force of the city. Galveston is home to six historic districts containing one of the largest and historically significant collections of nineteenth-century buildings with over 60 structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Contents

History

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Exploration, settlement and 19th century

The city of Galveston was named in honor of Bernardo de Gálvez, Count of Gálvez

Galveston Island was originally inhabited by members of the Karankawa and Akokisa tribes who used the name "Auia" for the island. The Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca and his crew were shipwrecked on the island or nearby in November 1528,[5] calling it "Isla de Malhado" ("Isle of Doom"), and there began his famous trek to Mexico.[6] During his charting of the Gulf Coast in 1785, the Spanish explorer José de Evia named the island Gálvez-town or Gálveztown in honor of Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez.[6] The first permanent European settlements on the island were constructed around 1816 by the pirate Louis-Michel Aury as a base of operations to support Mexico's rebellion against Spain.[7] In 1817, Aury returned from an unsuccessful raid against Spain to find Galveston occupied by the pirate Jean Lafitte.[7] Lafitte organized Galveston into a pirate "kingdom" he called "Campeche", anointing himself the island's "head of government."[8] Lafitte remained in Galveston until 1821 when he and his raiders were forced off the island by the United States Navy.[8][9]

In 1825 the Congress of Mexico established the Port of Galveston and in 1830 erected a customs house.[10] Galveston served as the capital of the Republic of Texas when in 1836 interim president David G. Burnet relocated his government there.[10] In 1836, Canadian Michel Branamour Menard and several associates purchased 4,605 acres (18.64 km²) of land for $50,000 to found the town that would become the modern city of Galveston.[11][12][13] In 1839 the City of Galveston adopted a charter and was incorporated by the Congress of the Republic of Texas.[13][14]

The Battle of Galveston occurred on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War when Confederate forces under Major General John B. Magruder attacked and expelled occupying Union troops from the city.[15] In the late 1890s, the Fort Crockett defenses and coastal artillery batteries were constructed in Galveston and along the Bolivar Roads.[16]

The Beach Hotel catered to vacationers until a fire in 1898.

At the end of the 19th century, the city of Galveston had a population of 37,000. Its position on the natural harbor of Galveston Bay along the Gulf of Mexico made it the center of trade in Texas, and one of the largest cotton ports in the nation, in competition with New Orleans.[17] During this golden era of Galveston's history, the city was home to a number of state firsts that include among others the first post office (1836), the first naval base (1836), the first Texas chapter of a Masonic order (1840); the first cotton compress (1842), the first parochial school (Ursuline Academy) (1847), the first insurance company (1854), the first gas lights (1856), the first opera house (1870), the first orphanage (1876), the first telephone (1878) and the first electric lights (1883).[13][18]

During the post-Civil-War period, leaders such as George T. Ruby and Norris Wright Cuney, who headed the Texas Republican Party, promoted African-American civil rights helping to drastically improve educational and employment opportunities for blacks in Galveston and in Texas.[19]

Hurricane of 1900 and recovery

Memorial marker along the Strand Historic District indicating a building that survived the 1900 hurricane.

In 1900, the island was struck by a devastating hurricane.[20] Even post-Hurricane Katrina, this event holds the record as the United States' deadliest natural disaster.[20][21] The city was devastated, and an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people on the island were killed.[20] Following the storm, a 10-mile (16 km) long, 17 foot (5.2 m) high seawall was constructed to protect the city from floods and hurricane storm surge. A team of engineers including Henry Martyn Robert (Robert's Rules of Order) designed the plan to raise much of the existing city to a sufficient elevation behind a seawall so that confidence in the city could be maintained.

The city developed the city commission form of city government, known as the "Galveston Plan", to help expedite recovery.[22]

Despite attempts to draw new investment to the city after the hurricane, Galveston never fully returned to its previous levels of national importance or prosperity. Development was also hindered by the construction of the Houston Ship Channel, which brought the Port of Houston into direct competition with the natural harbor of the Port of Galveston for sea traffic. To further her recovery, and rebuild her population, Galveston actively solicited immigration. Through the efforts of Rabbi Henry Cohen and Congregation B'nai Israel, Galveston became the focus of a immigration plan called the Galveston Movement that, between 1907 and 1914, diverted roughly 10,000 Eastern European, Jewish immigrants from the crowded cities of the Northeastern United States.[23] Additionally numerous other immigrant groups, including Greeks, Italians and Russian Jews came to the city during this period.[24] This immigration trend substantially altered the ethnic makeup of the island, as well as many other areas of Texas and the western U.S.

Though the storm stalled economic development and the city of Houston grew into the region's principal metropolis, Galveston economic leaders recognized the need to diversify from the traditional port-related industries. In 1905 William Lewis Moody, Jr. and Isaac H. Kempner, members of two of Galveston's leading families, founded the American National Insurance Company;[25] and two years later, Mr. Moody would further invest in Galveston by establishing the City National Bank, which would later become the Moody National Bank.[26][27]

During the 1920s and 1930s, the city re-emerged as a major tourist destination.[28][29] Under the influence of Sam Maceo and Rosario Maceo, the city exploited the prohibition of liquor and gambling in clubs like the Balinese Room offering entertainment to wealthy Houstonians and other out-of-towners. Combined with prostitution which had existed in the city since the Civil War, Galveston became known as the sin city of the Gulf.[30] Galvestonians accepted and even supported the illegal activities, often referring to their island as the "Free State of Galveston."[31][32] The island had entered what would later become known as the open era.[33]

The 1930s and 1940s brought much change to the Island City. During the World War II, the Galveston Municipal Airport, predecessor to Scholes International Airport, was re-designated a U.S. Army Air Corps base and named "Galveston Army Air Field". In January 1943, Galveston Army Air Field was officially activated with the 46th Bombardment Group serving an anti-submarine role in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1942, William Lewis Moody, Jr., along with his wife Libbie Shearn Rice Moody, established the Moody Foundation, with the purpose of "benefiting present and future generations of Texans." The foundation, one of the largest in the United States, would play a prominent role in Galveston during later decades, helping to fund numerous civic and health-oriented programs.[34]

Post–World War II

The end of the war drastically reduced military investment in the island. Increasing enforcement of gambling laws and the growth of Las Vegas put pressure on the gaming industry on the island.[35] Finally in 1957 Attorney General Will Wilson and the Texas Rangers began a massive campaign of raids which wrecked gambling and prostitution in the city.[36] As these vice industries crashed, so did tourism taking the rest of the Galveston economy with it.[37] Neither the economy nor the culture of the city was the same afterward.[38]

Downtown Galveston as viewed from the air.

The economy of the island entered a long, stagnant period. Many businesses relocated off of the island during this period, however, health care, insurance and financial industries continue to be strong contributors to the economy. By 1959, the city of Houston had long out-paced Galveston in population and economic growth. Beginning in 1957 the Galveston Historical Foundation began its efforts to preserve historic buildings.[39] The 1966 book The Galveston That Was helped encourage the preservation movement. Restoration efforts financed by motivated investors, notably Houston businessman George P. Mitchell, gradually created the Strand Historic District and reinvented other areas. A new, family-oriented tourism emerged in the city over many years.

The 1960s saw the expansion of higher education in Galveston. Already home to the University of Texas Medical Branch, the city got a boost in 1962 with the creation of the Texas Maritime Academy, predecessor of Texas A&M University at Galveston; and by 1967 a community college, Galveston College, had been established.[40]

In the 2000s, property values rose after expensive projects were completed[41] and demand for second homes increased.[42] Hurricane Ike made landfall on Galveston Island in the early morning of September 13, 2008 as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 miles per hour.[43] The island has since re-established services and the population has returned but some damage remains.

Geography

The city of Galveston is situated on Galveston Island, a barrier island that is made up mostly of sand-sized particles and smaller amounts of finer mud sediments and larger gravel-sized sediments on the Texas Gulf coast near the mainland coast. The city is about 45  miles (72 km) southeast of downtown Houston.[44] The island is oriented generally northeast-southwest, with the Gulf of Mexico on the east and south, West Bay on the west, and Galveston Bay on the north. The island's main access point from the mainland is the Interstate Highway 45 causeway that crosses West Bay on the northeast side of the island. A deepwater channel connects Galveston's harbor with the Gulf and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 208.4 square miles (540 km2), of which 46.2 square miles (120 km2) is land and 162.2 square miles (420 km2) and 77.85% is water.

The western portion of Galveston is referred to as the "West End". Communities in eastern Galveston include Lake Madeline, Offats Bayou, Central City, Fort Crockett, Bayou Shore, Lasker Park, Carver Park, Kempner Park, Old City/Central Business District, San Jacinto, East End, and Lindale.[45] Residential communities in the West End include Laguna Harbor.

The city of Galveston looking southeast towards the Gulf of Mexico. Downtown Galveston and the Strand Historic District are at the far right, while East Beach and the University of Texas Medical Branch Childrens Hospital and Shriners Children's Burns Hospital are to the far left.

Historic districts

Galveston contains many restored Victorian homes.

Galveston is home to six historic districts with over 60 structures listed representing architectural significance in the National Register of Historic Places.[46] The Silk Stocking National Historic District, located between Broadway and Seawall Boulevard and bounded by Ave. K, 23rd St., Ave. P, and 26th St., contains a collection of historic homes constructed from the Civil War through World War II.[47] The East End Historic District, located on both sides of Broadway and Market Streets, contains 463 buildings. Other districts include Cedar Lawn Historic District, Denver Court Historic District and Fort Travis.[46]

The Strand National Historic Landmark District is a National Historic Landmark District of mainly Victorian era buildings that now house restaurants, antique stores, historical exhibits, museums and art galleries. The area is a major tourist attraction for the island city and also plays host to two very popular seasonal festivals. It is widely considered the island's shopping and entertainment center. Today, "the Strand" is generally used to refer to the entire five-block business district between 20th and 25th streets in downtown Galveston, very close to the city's wharf. Throughout the 19th century, the port city of Galveston grew rapidly and the Strand was considered the region's primary business center. For a time, the Strand was known as the "Wall Street of the Southwest".[48]

Climate

Galveston
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
4.1
 
62
50
 
 
3.6
 
64
52
 
 
3.8
 
70
58
 
 
3.6
 
75
65
 
 
3.7
 
81
72
 
 
5
 
87
78
 
 
5.5
 
89
80
 
 
6.2
 
89
80
 
 
8.8
 
87
76
 
 
5.5
 
80
68
 
 
4.6
 
71
59
 
 
4.5
 
64
52
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: National Weather Service Forecast Office Houston/Galveston, Texas: Galveston Climate Data

Galveston's climate is classified as humid subtropical (Cfa in Köppen climate classification system).[49] Prevailing winds from the south and southeast bring heat from the deserts of Mexico and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.[50] Summer temperatures regularly exceed 90 °F (32 °C) and the area's humidity drives the heat index even higher.[51][52][53] Winters in the area are temperate with typical January highs above 60 °F (15 °C) and lows are near 40 °F (5 °C). Snowfall is generally rare. Annual rainfall averages well over 40 inches (1,000 mm) a year with some areas typically receiving over 50 inches (1,300 mm).[54][55]

Hurricanes are an ever-present threat during the summer and fall season. Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula are generally at the greatest risk among the communities near the Galveston Bay. However, though the island and peninsula provide some shielding, the bay shoreline still faces significant danger from storm surge.[56][57][58]

Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 57,247 people, 23,842 households, and 13,732 families residing in the city. As of the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a total population of 57,466.[59] The population density was 1,240.4 people per square mile (478.9/km²). There were 30,017 housing units at an average density of 650.4/sq mi (251.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.66% White, 25.49% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 3.21% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 9.73% from other races, and 2.41% from two or more races. 25.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 23,842 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 16.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.4% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,895, and the median income for a family was $35,049. Males had a median income of $30,150 versus $26,030 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,275. About 17.8% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.1% of those under age 18 and 14.2% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Port of Galveston

One Moody Plaza, home to the American National Insurance Company

The Port of Galveston, also called Galveston Wharves, began as a trading post in 1825.[60] Today, the port has grown to 850 acres (3.4 km2) of port facilities. The port is located on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, on the north side of Galveston Island, with some facilities on Pelican Island. The port has facilities to handle all types of cargo including containers, dry and liquid bulk, breakbulk, Roll-on/roll-off, refrigerated cargo and project cargoes. The port also serves as a passenger cruise ship terminal for cruise ships operating in the Caribbean. The terminal is home port to two Carnival Cruise Lines vessels, the Carnival Conquest and the Carnival Ecstasy. It is also home port to Royal Caribbean International's, MS Voyager of the Seas, which is the largest cruise ship ever to be based in Galveston.

Finance

American National Insurance Company, one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States, is based in Galveston. The company and its subsidiaries operate in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. Through its subsidiary, American National de México, Compañía de Seguros de Vida, it provides products and services in Mexico.[61][62][63] Moody National Bank, with headquarters in downtown Galveston, is one of the largest privately owned Texas-based banks. Its trust department, established in 1927, administers over 12 billion dollars in assets, one of the largest in the state.[64] In addition, the regional headquarters of Iowa-based United Fire & Casualty Company are located in the city.[65]

Health care

Galveston is the home of several of the largest teaching hospitals in the state, located on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Prior to Hurricane Ike, the University employed more than 12,000 people. Its significant growth in the 1970's and 1980's was attributable to a uniquely qualified management and medical faculty including: Mr. John Thompson; Dr. William James McGanity, Dr. William Levin, Dr. David Daeschner and many more. Ike severely damaged the 550-bed John Sealy Hospital causing the University of Texas System Board of Regents to cut nearly one-third of the hospital staff. Since the storm, the regents have committed to spending $713 million dollars to restore the campus, construct new medical towers, and return John Sealy Hospital to its 550 bed pre-storm capacity.[66] The university reopened their Level I Trauma Center on August 1, 2009 which had been closed for eleven months after the hurricane and, as of September 2009, had reopened 370 hospital beds.[66][67]

The city is also home to a 30-bed acute burns hospital for children, the Shriners Burns Hospital at Galveston.[68] The Galveston hospital is one of only four in the chain of 22 non-profit Shriners hospitals, that provides acute burns care.[69] Although the Galveston Hospital was damaged by Hurricane Ike, the Shriners national convention held in July 2009 voted to repair and reopen the hospital.[68][70]

Tourism

The Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens.
Seagulls on Galveston beach in the early morning.

Galveston is a popular tourist destination which in 2007 brought $808 million to the local economy and attracted 5.4 million visitors. The city features an array of lodging options, including hotels such as the historic Galvez Hotel and Tremont House, vintage bed and breakfast inns, beachfront condominiums, and resort rentals. The city's tourist attractions include the Galveston Schlitterbahn waterpark, Moody Gardens botanical park, the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, the Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston Railroad Museum, a downtown neighborhood of historic buildings known as The Strand, many historical museums and mansions, and miles of beach front from the East End's Porretto Beach, Stewart Beach to the West End pocket parks. The Strand plays host to a yearly Mardi Gras festival, Galveston Island Jazz & Blues Festival and a Victorian-themed Christmas festival called Dickens on the Strand (honoring the works of novelist Charles Dickens, especially A Christmas Carol) in early December. Galveston is home to several historic ships: the tall ship Elissa (the official Tall Ship of Texas) at the Texas Seaport Museum and USS Cavalla and USS Stewart, both berthed at Seawolf Park on nearby Pelican Island. Galveston is ranked the number one cruise port on the Gulf Coast and fourth in the United States.[71]

Arts and culture

Galveston is home to the Galveston Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble of amateur and professional musicians formed in 1979 under the direction of Richard W. Pickar, Musical Director-Conductor.[72] The Galveston Ballet is a regional pre-professional ballet company and academy serving Galveston county.[73] The company presents one full-length classical ballet in the spring of each year and one mixed repertory program in the fall, both presented at the Grand 1894 Opera House.

Architecture

The Bishop's Palace
Grand 1894 Opera House

Galveston contains one of the largest and historically significant collections of nineteenth-century buildings in the United States. Galveston's architectural preservation and revitalization efforts over several decades have earned national recognition.[74][75]

Located in the Strand District, the Grand 1894 Opera House is a restored historic Romanesque Revival style Opera House that is currently operated as a not-for-profit performing arts theater.[76] The Bishop's Palace, also known as Gresham's Castle, is an ornate Victorian house located on Broadway and 14th Street in the East End Historic District of Galveston, Texas. The American Institute of Architects listed Bishop's Palace as one of the 100 most significant buildings in the United States, and the Library of Congress has classified it as one of the fourteen most representative Victorian structures in the nation.[77] The Galvez Hotel is a historic hotel that opened in 1911.[78] The building was named the Galvez, honoring Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez, for whom the city was named. The hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 4, 1979. The Michel B. Menard House, built in 1838 and oldest in Galveston, is designed in the Greek revival style. In 1880, the house was bought by Edwin N. Ketchum who was police chief of the city during the 1900 Storm. The Ketchum family owned the home until the 1970s. Ashton Villa was built in 1859 by James Moreau Brown was one of the grandest homes in the state at the time it was completed. Ashton Villa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a recorded Texas Historic Landmark.[79] St. Joseph’s Church was built by German immigrants in 1859-60 and is the oldest wooden church building in Galveston and the oldest German Catholic Church in Texas.[80] The church was dedicated in April 1860, to St. Joseph, the patron saint of laborers. The building is a wooden gothic revival structure, rectangular with a square bell tower with trefoil window. The U.S. Custom House began construction in 1860 and was completed in 1861. The Confederate Army occupied the building during the American Civil War, In 1865, the Custom House was the site of the ceremony officially ending the Civil War.[81][82]

Galveston's modern architecture include the American National Insurance Company Tower (One Moody Plaza), San Luis Resort South and North Towers, The Breakers Condominiums, The Galvestonian Resort and Condos, One Shearn Moody Plaza, US National Bank Building, the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens, John Sealy Hospital Towers at UTMB and Medical Arts Building (also known as Two Moody Plaza).

Media

The headquarters of The Galveston County Daily News

The Galveston County Daily News, founded in 1842, is the city's primary newspaper and the oldest continuously printed newspaper in Texas.[83] It currently serves as the newspaper of record for the city as well as Galveston County. Radio station KGBC, on air since 1947, has also served as a local media outlet.[84] Television station KHOU signed on the air as KGUL-TV on March 23, 1953. Originally licensed in Galveston, KGUL was the second television station to launch in the Houston area after KPRC-TV.[85] One of the original investors in the station was actor James Stewart, along with a small group of other Galveston investors.[85] In June 1959, KGUL changed its call sign to KHOU and moved the city of license to Houston.

Notable Galvestonians

World heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, nicknamed the "Galveston Giant", was born in Galveston

Galveston has been home to many important figures in Texas and U.S. history. During the island's earliest history it became the domain of Jean Lafitte, the famed pirate and American hero of the War of 1812.[8] Much later in the 19th century, the African American Galveston civil rights leader Norris Wright Cuney rose to become the head of the Texas Republican Party and became one of the most important Southern black leaders of the century.[86] Richard Bache, Jr. who represented Galveston in the Senate of the Second Texas Legislature in 1847 and assisted in drawing up the Constitution of 1845. He was also the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America and Deborah Read. One of the survivors of the 1900 Galveston Storm was the Hollywood director King Vidor who made his directing debut in 1913 with the film Hurricane in Galveston.[87] Later Jack Johnson, nicknamed the “Galveston Giant”, became the first black world heavyweight boxing champion.[88]

During the first half of the 20th century William L. Moody Jr. established a business empire which includes American National Insurance Company, a major national insurer, and founded the Moody Foundation, one of the largest charitable organizations in the United States.[89] Sam Maceo, a nationally known organized crime boss, with the help of his family, was largely responsible for making Galveston a major U.S. tourist destination from the 1920s to the 1940s.[90] John H. Murphy, was a Texas newspaperman for seventy-four years, was the longtime executive vice president of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association. Douglas Corrigan became of the early transatlantic aviators, and was given the nickname "Wrong Way" for claiming to have mistakenly made the ocean crossing after being refused permission to make the flight.[91]

More recently Tilman J. Fertitta, part of the Maceo bloodline, established the Landry's Restaurants corporation which owns numerous restaurants and entertainment venues in Texas and Nevada.[92] Kay Bailey Hutchison is the senior senator from Texas and the first female Texas senator.[93]

Government and infrastructure

Local government

Galveston City Hall

After the hurricane of 1900, the city originated the City Commission form of city government (which became known as the "Galveston Plan"), although the city has since adopted the council-manager form of government. Galveston's city council serves as the city's legislative branch, while the city manager works as the chief executive officer and the municipal court system serves as the city's judicial branch. The city council and mayor promote ordinances to establish municipal policies. The Galveston City Council consists of six elected positions, each derived from a specified electoral district. Each city council member is elected to a two year term, while the mayor is elected to a two year term. The city council appoints the city manager, the city secretary, the city auditor, the city attorney, and the municipal judge. The city's Tax Collector is determined by the city council and is outsourced to Galveston County. The city manager hires employees, promotes development, presents and administers the budget, and implements city council policies. Lyda Ann Thomas is currently the mayor of Galveston.

City services

The Joe Max Taylor Galveston Law Enforcement Facility includes the head offices of the Galveston Police Department

The Galveston Fire Department provides fire protection services through six fire stations and seventeen pieces of apparatus.[94] The Galveston Police Department provides the city's police protection for over 165 years. Over 170 authorized officers serve in three divisions.[95] The city is served by the Rosenberg Library, which opened in 1904.[96] The library also serves as headquarters of the Galveston County Library System and its librarian also functions as the Galveston County Librarian.[97]

County, state, and federal government

Galveston County Courts Building

Galveston is the seat and second-largest city (after League City, Texas) of Galveston County in population.[98] The Galveston County Justice Center, the headquarters of the county, is located in downtown Galveston.[99] Galveston is within the County Precinct 1; as of 2008 Patrick Doyle serves as the Commissioner of Precinct 1.[100] The Galveston County Sheriff's Office operates its law enforcement headquarters downtown,[101] while the jail is located nearby.[102] The Galveston County Department of Parks and Senior Services operates the Galveston Community Center.[103] Galveston is located in District 23 of the Texas House of Representatives. As of 2008, Craig Eiland represents the district.[104] Most of Galveston is within District 17 of the Texas Senate; as of 2008 Joan Huffman represents the district.[105] A portion of Galveston is within District 11 of the Texas Senate; as of 2008 Mike Jackson represents the district.[106] Galveston is in Texas's 14th congressional district and is represented by Ron Paul as of 2009.[107]

The Galveston US Post Office, Custom House and Courthouse

The Galveston Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas is based in Galveston and has jurisdiction over the counties of Galveston, Brazoria, Chambers and Matagorda.[108] It is housed in the United States Post Office, Customs House and Court House federal building in downtown Galveston.[109] The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Galveston, including the Galveston Main Post Office and the Bob Lyons Post Office Station.[110][111] In addition the post office has a contract postal unit at the Medical Branch Unit on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch. In November 2007, the West Galveston Contract Unit, a Contract Postal Unit, opened inside a local business in Jamaica Beach.

Transportation

Scholes International Airport at Galveston (IATA: GLSICAO: KGLS) is a two-runway airport in Galveston; the airport is primarily used for general aviation, offshore energy transportation, and some limited military operations. The nearest commercial airline service for the city is operated out of Houston through William P. Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The University of Texas Medical Branch has two heliports, one for Ewing Hall and one for its emergency room.

The Galveston Railway, originally established and named in 1854 as the Galveston Wharf and Cotton Press Company, is a Class III terminal switching railroad that primarily serves the transportation of cargo to and from the Port of Galveston. The railway operates 32 miles (51 km) of yard track at Galveston, over a 50-acre (200,000 m2) facility.[112] Island Transit, which operates the Galveston Island Trolley manages the city's public transportation services. Bus service is operated by Greyhound Bus Lines out of Galveston Station.[113]

Interstate 45 has a southern terminus in Galveston and serves as a main artery to Galveston from mainland Galveston County and Houston. Farm to Market Road 3005 (locally called Seawall Boulevard) connects Galveston to Brazoria County via the San Luis Pass-Vacek toll bridge. State Highway 87, known locally as Broadway Street, connects the island to the Bolivar Peninsula via the Bolivar Ferry.

Education

Colleges and universities

Established in 1891 with one building and fewer than 50 students, today the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) campus has grown to more than 70 buildings and an enrollment of more than 2,500 students.[114] The 84-acre (340,000 m2) campus includes schools of medicine, nursing, allied health professions, and a graduate school of biomedical sciences, as well as three institutes for advanced studies & medical humanities, a major medical library, seven hospitals, a network of clinics that provide a full range of primary and specialized medical care, and numerous research facilities.[115]

Galveston is home to two post-secondary institutions offering traditional degrees in higher education. Galveston College, a junior college that opened in 1967, and Texas A&M University at Galveston, an ocean-oriented branch campus of Texas A&M University.[116]

Primary and secondary schools

Galveston Independent School District Administration Building

The city of Galveston is served by Galveston Independent School District, which includes six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school, Ball High School. There is also one magnet middle school, Austin Middle School, serving grades 5 through 8.[117]

Galveston has several state-funded charter schools not affiliated with local school districts, including kindergarten through 5th grade Ambassadors Preparatory Academy and pre-kindergarten through 8th Grade Odyssey Academy.[118] In addition KIPP: the Knowledge Is Power Program plans to open KIPP Coastal Village in Galveston.[119]

Several private schools exist in Galveston. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston operates two Roman Catholic private schools, including Holy Family Catholic School (K through 8th)[120] and O'Connell College Preparatory School (9-12).[118] Other private schools include Satori Elementary School, Trinity Episcopal School, Seaside Christian Academy, and Heritage Christian Academy.[118]

Sister cities

Galveston has six sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:[121]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "History of the Oleander in America... By Way of Galveston". International Oleander Society. http://www.oleander.org/history.html. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  2. ^ Lomax, John Nova. "On Da Lingo, Part II." Houston Press. November 17, 2005. 1. Retrieved on February 24, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Donald E. Chipman (2008-01-18). "The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association". www.tshaonline.org. pp. article "MALHADO ISLAND". http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/rrm1.html. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  6. ^ a b David G. McComb. "Table of Contents and Excerpt, McComb, Galveston". Galveston, A History - University of Texas Press. http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/excerpts/exmccedg.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  7. ^ a b Harris Gaylord Warren. "Aury, Louis Michel". Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/AA/fau4.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  8. ^ a b c Harris Gaylord Warren. "Lafitte, Jean". Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/fla12.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  9. ^ Jimmie Walker. "The Legend of Jean Lafitte". Kemah Historical Society. http://www.kemahhistoricalsociety.net/legend1.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  10. ^ a b "Port of Galveston". World Port Source. http://www.worldportsource.com/ports/USA_TX_Port_of_Galveston_34.php. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  11. ^ "Menard, Michel Branamour". Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/fme9.html. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  12. ^ "The Galveston Collection". Texas Archival Resources Online, University of Houston. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/uhsc/00029/hsc-00029.html. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  13. ^ a b c "History of Galveston". Isaac's Storm, Random House. http://www.randomhouse.com/features/isaacsstorm/greatstorm/historygalveston.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  14. ^ "Galveston Island". Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/rrg2.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  15. ^ Alwyn Barr. "Galveston, Battle of". Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/qeg1.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  16. ^ "Galveston Laboratory Home". Galveston.ssp.nmfs.gov. http://galveston.ssp.nmfs.gov/aboutus/fortcrockett/index.html. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  17. ^ Edward Coyle Sealy. "Galveston Wharves". Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/etg1.html. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  18. ^ "History: Galveston's Colorful Past". Galveston Chamber of Commerce. http://www.galvestonchamber.com/custom2.asp?pageid=198. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
    "The History of Galveston". Wyndham Hotels. http://www.wyndham.com/hotels/GLSHG/historyofgalveston/main.wnt. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
    Barrington, Carol; Kearney, Sydney (2006). Day Trips from Houston: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler. Globe Pequot. p. 241. ISBN 0762738677. http://books.google.com/books?id=euz4fbCDlLYC. 
  19. ^ Pitre, Merline.Cuney, Norris Wright from the Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 15 Oct 2009
    Obadele-Starks, Ernest (2001). Black Unionism in the Industrial South. Texas A&M University Press. p. 39-44. ISBN 0890969124. http://books.google.com/books?id=4BvbD7rusAAC. 
  20. ^ a b c John Edward Weems. "Galveston Hurricane of 1900". Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/ydg2.html. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  21. ^ Joe Strupp (2000-09-04). "Nation's deadliest natural disaster". Editor & Publisher. http://www.allbusiness.com/services/business-services-miscellaneous-business/4729386-1.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  22. ^ "Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Commission Form of City Government,"". http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/CC/moc1.html. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  23. ^ "Galveston Movement". Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/umg1.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  24. ^ Hardwick (2002), pg.13
  25. ^ Gary Cartwright (1998). Galveston: A History of the Island. TCU Press. ISBN 0689119917. http://books.google.com/books?id=RFRu8kYThEcC&lpg=PA196. 
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  31. ^ John Nova Lomax (2009-03-03). "Is Casino Gambling in the Cards for Galveston?". Houston Press. http://www.houstonpress.com/2009-03-05/news/iis-casino-gambling-in-the-cards-for-galveston/. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
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  37. ^ Melosi, Martin V.; Pratt, Joseph A. (2007). Energy metropolis: an environmental history of Houston and the Gulf Coast. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 202. ISBN 0822943352. http://books.google.com/books?id=vm1j3XiZiWMC. 
  38. ^ Paul Burka (1983-12-01). "Grande Dame of the Gulf". Texas Monthly. http://www.texasmonthly.com/1983-12-01/feature5-3.php. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  39. ^ Melosi, Martin V.; Pratt, Joseph A. (2007). Energy metropolis: an environmental history of Houston and the Gulf Coast. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 202. ISBN 0822943352. http://books.google.com/books?id=KtpwM38sPj0C. 
  40. ^ "The History of Galveston College". Galveston College. http://www.gc.edu/gc/GC_History.asp?SnID=1413310913. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
    Rhiannon Myers (2007-11-14). "Students brave the simulated seas". The Galveston County Daily News. http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=9751907adb742ca7. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  41. ^ Novak, Shonda. "Growth Wave Hits Galveston." Austin American-Statesman. Saturday July 22, 2006.
  42. ^ Harvey Rice (2007-02-22). "Workers in Galveston increasingly can't afford to live there". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2007_4291019. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  43. ^ "Ike Insured Damage Estimates Range from $6B to $18B". Texas / South Central News, Insurance Journal. 2008-09-15. http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2008/09/15/93698.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  44. ^ "Rock Sediment and Soil Facts, Galveston Island". Geologic Wonders of Texas, University of Texas. http://www.beg.utexas.edu/UTopia/coastal/coastal_rock.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  45. ^ D. Freeman. "Map 1. Galveston’s Neighborhoods". http://www.co.galveston.tx.us/Community_Services/Report%20Card/Maps/sld001.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
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  48. ^ "Preserve America Community: Galveston, Texas". Preserve America. 2009-02-19. http://www.preserveamerica.gov/PAcommunity-GalvestonTX.html. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
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  53. ^ "Average Relative Humidity". Department of Meteorology at the University of Utah. http://www.met.utah.edu/jhorel/html/wx/climate/rh.html. Retrieved 2006-12-14. 
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  55. ^ "Monthly Averages for Pasadena, TX (77573)". The Weather Channel web site. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/77506. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  56. ^ Berger, Eric (09 Sept 2008). "Would a category 3 hurricane surge flood your home?". Houston Chronicle. http://blogs.chron.com/sciguy/archives/2008/09/post_39.html. Retrieved 2009-10 15. 
  57. ^ "Wide Ike and shallow coast mean strong surge". MSNBC. 12 Sept 2008. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26676728/. Retrieved 2009-10-15. "Houston is buffered by Galveston Island — which sits in the way of the surge — and the bay system" 
  58. ^ Spinner, Kate (31 May 2009). "Hurricane forecasters zero in on threat of surge". Sarasota Herald Tribune. http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090531/article/905311057?Title=Hurricane-forecasters-zero-in-on-threat-of-surge. Retrieved 2009-10-15. "Just north of Galveston Island, the Bolivar Peninsula shields Galveston Bay much like Lido Key and Longboat Key shield Sarasota Bay." 
  59. ^ "US Census Press Releases". US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/010106.html. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  60. ^ "History of The Port of Galveston, Texas". The Post of Galveston. http://www.portofgalveston.com/about/history.shtml. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  61. ^ Nell Newton. "American National Insurance Company". Hoover's. http://www.hoovers.com/global/cobrands/nasdaq/factsheet.xhtml?ID=12603. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
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  66. ^ a b Harvey Rice (2009-09-16). "UTMB coming back stronger from Ike". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/news/specials/hurricane/6622630.html. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  67. ^ Scott Gonzales (2009-08-02). "UTMB emergency room reopens after Ike". The Galveston County Daily News. http://www.galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=d093128587d3bc01. 
  68. ^ a b Laura Elder (2009-07-07). "Shriners vote to keep isle burns hospital open". The Galveston County Daily News. http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?wcd=140378. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  69. ^ Elizabeth Allen (2009-07-10). "Shriners will keep hospitals open Galveston facility to reopen in a few weeks". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2009_4764200. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  70. ^ "Hospitals Listed by Specialty". Shriners Hospitals for Children. http://www.shrinershq.org/Hospitals_by_Specialty.aspx. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
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References

External links


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