In response to the article ("Questions arise about American National downtown plaza plan," The Daily News, April 28): The grassy area on 20th Street, adjacent to American National Insurance Co., is the exact site of the first city hall and market in Galveston, erected by Mayor John Sydnor in 1846. At that date, the streets around 20th Street were filled with thriving businesses, and the area became the hub of local commerce.
At nearby docks, ships and sailboats brought in goods and produce for the thriving market; and the city fathers conducted their business on the second floor of the market. In 1886, the city demolished the original market house and replaced it with one designed by noted architect Alfred Muller. The Galveston County Historical Commission recently placed a Texas State Historical Marker on the west side of 20th Street, the site of the original city hall, and giving a brief history of the area.
I think it would be a shame for an insurance company to alter or destroy one of Galveston's most historic sites to create a dry walkway for its employees. The problem that should be addressed is that of the worsening flood problems in the east end.