Watersports

The stately homes of Galveston tour represent the island’s architectural and design styles

Watermarks on an antique mirror in the ladies’ lounge tell a bit more about the age and history of the historic pink house.

It was installed in the Italian-style mansion at 523 10th St. in Galveston when the house was built in 1874 – and it remained in the same location for almost 150 years.

Some of the silver backing has worn away in places, but its broad streaks represent the level of flood waters in the house since the great storm of 1900, which destroyed most homes and buildings on the island, as well than Hurricane Ike, which hit in 2008. .

Mary Louise Stonecypher and Jordan Vaughn, a mother-daughter team owner of Alayna Louise Interiors, have worked on this home for six years. It will be unveiled to the public in May for the 2022 Galveston Historic Homes Tour.

Much of the work inside the house has been completed, but there will be more to come, including the addition of drapes and furniture, before it officially opens in October as a luxury boutique hotel, the 1874 Guest House.

This large pink house with green shutters will be one of seven historic homes on the tour on May 7, 8 and 14 and 15. In addition, two houses under rehabilitation will be open on the first weekend, while two other houses, both of new construction, will be open on the second weekend.

Galveston Historic Homes Tour 2022

When: 10am-6pm May 7-8 and May 14-15

Visit of the houses: 1874 Robert and Ellen Hughes House (523 10th St.); 1897 August J. Henck Cottage (1412 Sealy); 1894 Adolph and August Helmann Cottage (1314 24th St.); 1896 Oscar and Mary Walker House (1318 24th St.); 1906 Romanet-Glenn House (2605 Broadway); 1922 Stubbs-Garrigan Bungalow (3727 Avenue P); 1931 Dr. Albert and Willie Dean Singleton House (1602 Broadway). Two more homes will open May 7 and 8 only, an 1866 home at 1414 Avenue L, an ongoing rehabilitation, and the new 2020 construction Magruder Cottage at 1410 26th St. On May 14 and 15, the 1927 home at 31 Cedar Lawn Circle and the new 2022 construction at 2925 Ursuline will be open.

Special Events: History on Tap Dinner at the Menard House of 1838, May 6; Strand Walking Tours, May 7; The new construction spotlights happy hour, May 7; Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at the Garten Verein, May 8; History on Tap Dinner at the Robert and Ellen Hughes home from 1874; Strand Tours, May 14; Happy Hour Spanish Colonial Revival May 14

Tickets: $30 for GHF members; $35 for non-members

To note: The GHF asks visitors to wear soft-soled shoes to minimize damage to floors. Pets are not allowed.


Homes on this year’s tour are scattered throughout historic neighborhoods and include Victorian and Queen Anne cottages, a southern townhouse, a two-story Colonial Revival home, and even a Monterey Revival home designed by L. Architect of Houston Cameron Fairchild and once owned by a renowned surgeon. Dr. Albert Singleton.

Stonecypher grew up in the Houston area but has lived in Tennessee for over 30 years. Her two children live in Houston, so she visits often, and on one visit she saw the dilapidated house on 10th Street in Galveston, hidden behind palm trees and other foliage, and fell in love.

She knew it would be a big project, but she didn’t expect it would take her six years to complete. The first year was spent planning, designing and obtaining permits, including raising the house an additional 7 feet above the ground. (He was already 3 feet off the ground.)

Tucked away behind its antique iron fence is an event-ready artificial grass lawn on one side and a stone patio and gardens on the other side.

The main building will include men’s and women’s lounges as well as a luxurious kitchen and dining room on the ground floor. Four guest suites will occupy the second floor. A new construction building behind the boutique hotel has a single suite on the second floor.

The Galveston Historical Foundation has held its annual tour for years, showing residents’ historic preservation efforts in homes decades old.

In 1874, Robert and Ellen Hughes built the house that Stonecypher and Vaughn are converting into an inn. At one time, Hughes owned the largest fire and marine insurance company in Texas.

The Hughes lived in the house with their two children for a time, and it has also been in the hands of others, including the non-profit Jesse Tree. Before Stonecypher bought it, the house had been divided into apartments, so some of the early work went into demolishing unnecessary walls. They rewired and plumbed the house and added an elevator to make it more accessible.

While much of the work has been completed, including painting, wallpapering and lighting, it is not yet fully furnished. The floors haven’t been refinished, Stonecypher said, and they won’t be bringing in furniture until that’s done.

They only kept two of the original fireplace mantels, mainly because they weren’t beautiful – the designers want the building to have high-end marble and stone.

The ladies’ lounge is decorated in a light and bright palette, with aqua burlap wallpaper, a shiny chandelier and antiques. Behind is the men’s lounge painted in deep Hague blue by Farrow & Ball, with a coffered ceiling lined with antique Italian medallions.

Gorgeous Italian Pluto marble with dramatic veining covers the kitchen island and a back wall, and a vintage train station clock serves as the centerpiece above it all.

Upstairs, each bedroom has its own bathroom, carpeted or painted and finished with beautiful tiles, marble sinks and excellent lighting.

One bedroom is covered in Schumacher’s “Madame de Pompadour” wallpaper designed by Miles Redd. The Norwegian Rose marble in the bathroom perfectly complements the floral theme.

A second sequel is more dramatic, featuring Phillip Jeffries “Serenity” in deep blue tones against a linen ground. The room probably contains the oldest antique piece of furniture in the house, a French chest of drawers dating from the 1600s. A beautiful chandelier was bought in Italy and the windows open onto a small balcony.

The third suite is filled with neutrals, shades of taupe and cream, including Quadrille’s “Climbing Hydrangea” wallpaper. Because the wood floor was damaged by the previously used linoleum, they filled in the nail holes and hired artists from Pruitt Littleton to paint the floors. This suite has a two-sided fireplace with its original mantles, one side of which opens into the bathroom.

The final suite in the main building is loaded with color, from the yellow painted felt in the bedroom to the Cole & Sons ‘Wisteria’ wallpaper against an emerald green backdrop in the side lounge. The bathroom has a more delicate blue and white pattern, and all colors are drawn from a sparkling chandelier that includes blue, yellow, and green crystal drops.

A new shed out back serves as the hostel’s fifth suite, with an Asian theme that includes Coordinates’ “Sunrise Flight” wallpaper with storks wading among aquatic plants bearing lotus flowers. The fretwork that begins at the top of the wall runs through the ceiling and a kitchenette resides in built-in cabinetry designed to resemble a pagoda and painted in peacock blue.

diane.cowen@chron.com