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Bishop’s Palace

Galveston’s grandest and most famous building, the Bishop’s Palace, is an ornate delight of colored stone, intricately carved ornaments, rare woods, stained glass, bronze dragons and other sculptures, luxurious materials and furnishings, and impressive fireplaces from around the world ( including one.plated with pure silver!). This Victorian castle was built by attorney Colonel Walter Gresham and designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston’s leading architect. The American Institute of Architects named this Victorian castle one of America’s 100 Most Important Buildings. The house was built in 1886-1892. If you can only visit one of Galveston’s architectural landmarks, the magnificent Episcopal Palace is worth a visit. Bishop’s Palace, also known as Gresham Castle, is an ornate 19,082-square-foot (1,772.8 m2) Victorian house located at Broadway and 14th Street in the East End Historic District of Galveston, Texas.

Gresham Manor was built entirely of stone and was strong enough to withstand the hurricane of 1900. The Greshams welcomed hundreds of hurricane survivors into their home. The house was built between 1887 and 1893 by Galveston architect Nicholas J. Clayton for attorney and politician Walter Gresham, his wife Josephine, and their nine children. In 1923, the house was purchased by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston and was located across the street from Sacred Heart Church and served by Bishop Christopher E. Byrne. When the diocesan offices were moved to Houston, the diocese opened the mansion to the public in 1963, and income from the tours was used to finance the Newman Center, located in the basement of the UT School of Medicine. The home was estimated to cost $250,000 at the time; Today it is estimated to be worth over $5.5 million. The house is now 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. Visiting the bishop’s table and the croquet lawn is free. The People Ticket also gives access to the Medieval Palace and Undercroft, the Ruined Great Hall, the 14 acres of RHS Society Gardens, the Bishop’s Chapel and many events (unless members only or separately ticketed), as well as daily guided tours. Don’t forget to check out this place in Galveston too.

The Bishop’s Palace (a.k.a. the Gresham House) (1892) is a National Historic Landmark site located in the East End Historic District. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places at the National Architectural Significance level. Architectural historians list Bishop’s Palace as one of the most important Victorian residences in the country. The Galveston Historical Foundation is committed to making our programs and historic sites accessible for special needs. Currently, however, the Episcopal Palace does not have ramps for wheelchairs or pedestrians and is not fully accessible for people with reduced mobility. We can provide an audio tour with photos and a written copy of the tour. If you are ever in need of a painter , click here.

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5306 Avenue O 1/2, Galveston, TX 77551, United States
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