Originally built as an opera house in 1870, the building enjoyed a glamourous but brief reign as Galveston's cultural centerpiece. This important landmark has now been reborn as the National Hotel Artist Lofts, featuring 27 units of affordable live/work space for creatives and their families and ground-floor commercial space. The project has played a key role in the renaissance of the Strand, a National Historic Landmark District with many Victorian-era buildings, which has become a major tourist attraction.
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Architect: Michael Gaertner & Associates
Funders: Bank of America, City of Galveston, Galveston County, Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund, National Equity Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and TCF Bank, Brown Foundation, City of Galveston, Jack Currie, Fondren Foundation, The Grand 1894 Opera House, Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund, Harry S. & Isabel C. Cameron Foundation, Houston Endowment, Inc., Knox Foundation, McGovern Fund, Mary Moody Northen Endowment, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rockwell Fund, RR Family Foundation, Summerlee Foundation, and the Texas State Historic Preservation Ofﬁce
Type of Development
Mixed-Use Housing and Commercial Space
Number of Units
36,267 sq. ft.
This restoration has saved an historic structure, stimulated several other projects and provided permanent housing for artists. I would call that a win by any standard.