Downtown update: The potential for residential development in the island’s downtown continues to attract investors and developers. Most recently, Jeff Ehrich, president of Galveston-based Seaside Construction, acquired the old Oldsmobile car dealership property, 2415 Church St., with plans to convert the building into offices, retail and condominiums.

Ehrich, a builder of high-end custom homes, had been searching for warehouse space to store construction materials when his Realtor, Hudson Holmes of Joe Tramonte Realty, introduced him to the downtown building that most recently was used for storage by the late event planner Harry Rice but served as an Oldsmobile dealership in the 1950s. The building dates back to about 1901, but information about its original use wasn’t immediately available.

Laura Elder: 409-683-5248;

Recommended for you

(6) comments

Wayne D Holt

Laura, re the redevelopment of the building featured in your column; interesting it was mentioned as an Oldsmobile dealership from the 1950s. The building at 2428 Church St. at 25th that has been occupied for many years by Kleen Supply Company was an Oldsmobile dealership back in the day. There is a vintage Oldsmobile floor mosaic at the eastern entrance to the business that identifies it. With its wrap around glass on a busy street corner, it seems to be more suited to car sales display. I wonder if the Harry Rice building was additional repair space for this Olds dealer?

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

Wayne, those are good questions. I was going on information provided by those involved in the real estate transaction and tried researching the history of the building but couldn't find anything. I'll try to get those answers.

Brian Maxwell

The building being discussed was service and parts for the dealership. The dealer when I was a kid was Galvez Carriage Company and sold Oldsmobile and Nissan. The Kleen Supply building was the olds dealer. The building across the street where the day care is was the Nissan dealer. They also had a lot across 25th on Postoffice for vehicles. At one point they actually leased the old Shep’s Chicken Shack on 61st (Where the urgent care is today) for a used car lot to give them a “west end” presence.

In later years Bob Pagan bought the dealership and merged it with his closing the downtown locations eventually.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

This helps a lot. Thank you for shedding some light on it.

Bailey Jones

You beat me to it, Wayne. I felt like a little kid when I first saw that Oldsmobile floor mosaic. I hope they can keep some of the character of this great old building.

Wayne D Holt

It's pretty easy to imagine that Olds showroom with some of those classic beauties in there just ready for a test drive and a buyer signature. Those were the days when cars looked distinctive; nowadays, I can't even guess the continent where they were designed. Stop me, Bailey...I'm wallowing in nostalgia again.

Thanks much for the details on the neighborhood, Brian. Very interesting and I'll look at these buildings with even more affection now.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.