GALVESTON — The renovation of a Civil War-era cottage and its adjacent corner store saved two historic landmarks that once blighted the San Jacinto neighborhood.
The Galveston Historical Foundation and Galveston Redevelopment and Community Enterprise Corp. partnered to restore the circa-1860 cottage and an adjacent two-story corner store at 14th Street and Avenue L.
“The priority from the beginning was — as much as we can — to look at neighborhood projects not just as renovation projects but to focus on projects the whole neighborhood enjoys,” said Matthew Pelz, director of preservation services for the foundation.
Work began in March on the cottage, which had lost part of its roof, and much of the interior was left to the elements. Contractors used reclaimed wood to help renovate the floors, gave the house a new metal roof, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and wiring, among other improvements.
The corner store was originally a house built in the 1860s or 1870s, but it was elevated to allow for the store’s construction in 1901, just a year after a hurricane devastated the island.
GRACE Corp. bought both properties and partnered with the foundation to restore them.
Bienvenue Moore ran the store after the storm. The foundation restored the store’s canopy and completed extensive repairs both inside and out. GHF also fitted barrels to gutters to collect rainwater.
The home and store fit the character of the neighborhood that has been diverse since its inception, said Realtor Tom Schwenk, president of the San Jacinto Neighborhood Association.
“I lived on the next corner, and I’ve watched it deteriorate over the last 20 years,” Schwenk said. “It’s a nice shot in the arm to the neighborhood.”
The one-bedroom, one-bath cottage has a loft, and the store has two bedrooms upstairs and a study.
Both properties should be on the market within a month, but the asking price has yet to be set, Pelz said.