GALVESTON — The city has honored a handful of Galveston property owners and groups for their work to preserve historic buildings around the city.

Last week, the city’s Land Commission presented its annual awards during a City Council meeting. The awards were made to honor “efforts in rehabilitating structures in the historic districts and the neighborhood conservation district,” according to a release from the city.

The awards went to the following individual properties or groups:

• 1619 Avenue K, a home in the Lost Bayou District that was constructed in 1856. Since being built, the building received a number of updates, according to the awards presentation, including the addition of asphalt siding — a popular technique used in the 1950s to update older properties. The property’s owner, David Ortiz, removed the siding from the house and added new railings and a rear addition and did extensive interior repair work.

• 2123 Avenue M1⁄2, a home located in the San Jacinto Neighborhood District built in 1891. The Galveston Historical Foundation rehabilitated the house using grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the city of Galveston’s affordable housing program. The house was slated for demolition but is now for sale as a low-to-moderate income home.

• URS, the administrator of the city’s Community Development Block Grant — Disaster Recovery housing program. URS was recognized for its work to “ensure proper treatment of historic houses.”

• St. Mary’s Basilica. Though not designated as a historic landmark, the Landmark Commission chose to honor the church because of its importance to the community. The church, 2011 Church St., was built in 1848 and was the first works of civil architecture to be built in Texas after the Franciscan mission churches constructed in the mid-1700s. The church was damaged during Hurricane Ike.

• Cast Iron Facade — Grant Program. The commission recognized the city of Galveston, Mitchell Historic Properties and Ardent Construction for the work in restoring the cast iron storefronts on The Strand and Mechanic Street. The architecture located in that area was listed as one of the country’s most endangered historic places in 2009 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The group has already restored the facades at 2309 Strand and 1921 Market St. and is currently working on the building at 2319 Strand.

• Hendley Building — 2002 Strand, Mitchell Historic Properties and contractor Building Solutions were honored for the restoration work done on the 155-year-old building located on the corner of Strand and 20th Street. A rear addition was removed from the building and windows were restored.

At the same meeting, the council also declared May as Preservation Month in the city.

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com.

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