Rebuild the History...For the Future of the Arts
A team for GALVESTON ARTS CENTER INC
"Rebuild the History" a team to help the GALVESTON ARTS CENTER rebuild the its 1888 building headquarters on Galveston's Historic Strand.
For 136 years, the 1878 First National Bank Building has stood at the corner of Strand and 22nd Street in Galveston. This beautiful iron faced structure is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a cornerstone in Galveston’s Downtown Cultural Arts District.
The building was also home to the Galveston Arts Center (GAC) for over four decades. The iconic structure defines Galveston's art scene for many people throughout Texas and beyond. But in 2008, Hurricane Ike nearly destroyed this landmark of Galveston and left GAC without a home. They have carried on their cultural arts and education and community outreach mission from a temporary space on Market Street, but have never abandoned the goal of one day returning to the Strand.
Today there is cause for restored faith in this vision. After carefully refining the restoration plans and receiving generous support from several local building professionals, the GAC executives have worked out an exciting plan to fully restore and improve the two-story, 9000 square foot building, both inside and out, for $1.5 million. Galveston's own Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund has awarded a Challenge Grant of $250,000. Once matched dollar for dollar, with your help, this grant will allow GAC to reopen the first floor of the building to the public within six months, and continue to raise the full amount from a position of hugely increased visibility and prominence in the community.
Once fully restored, the building will have triple the exhibition space, a brand new, kid-friendly classroom for expanded educational programing, a seperate retail shop to showcase the handmade wares of regional artisans, and will be fully accessibly to people with disabilities.