This Historic Texas Mansion Has Survived Hurricanes & Is Open for Tours Bishop's Palace, Galveston

Updated: Jul 14


The Bishop's Palace, also known as Gresham's Castle, is an ornate 19,082 square feet Victorian-style house, located on Broadway and 14th Street in the East End Historic District of Galveston, Texas.


The Gresham mansion was made all of stone, and was sturdy enough to withstand the great hurricane of 1900. The Greshams welcomed hundreds of survivors of the hurricane into their home.


The house was built between 1887 and 1893 by Galveston architect Nicholas J. Clayton for lawyer and politician Walter Gresham, his wife Josephine, and their nine children.


Historic Photo of House

In 1923 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston purchased the house, and, situated across the street from the Sacred Heart Church, it served as the residence for Bishop Christopher E. Byrne.


Grand Staircase & Foyer





After the diocesan offices were moved to Houston, the diocese opened the mansion to the public in 1963, with proceeds from tours being used to help fund the Newman Center, operating in the basement, serving Catholic students at the nearby University of Texas Medical Branch.





The home is estimated to have cost $250,000 at the time; today its value is estimated at over $5.5 million.


The dining room ceiling was painted by Mrs. Gresham


More First Floor Rooms


Architectural historians list the Bishop’s Palace as one of the most significant of Victorian residences in the country.

Library


Upstairs Bedroom



The house is owned by the Galveston Historical Foundation and self-guided tours are available daily. A portion of each admission supports the preservation and restoration of the property.




6,769 views

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