Tax Credit Program Highlight: Galveston Arts Center

Galveston, Galveston County



Listed as part of the Strand National Historic Landmark District

Historic Use


Current Use

Art galleries and classrooms

Total Rehabilitation Cost


Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses


Date Certified

January 10, 2019


Certified for state credits only.


The Galveston Arts Center (GAC) is housed in the 1878 First National Bank building, located in the Strand Historic District. The building is a two story, flat-roofed structure designed in the Italian Renaissance style. It is constructed of red Philadelphia pressed brick with cast iron storefront, door surrounds, and window hoods. The ornate cornice is pressed metal. The architect of the 1878 bank building is unknown, although its architectural features resemble those of Nathaniel W. Tobey Jr who practiced in Galveston at the time. The Galveston County Junior League acquired the building in 1969 as part of efforts to improve the Strand and donated it to the Galveston County Cultural Arts Council for use as an arts education center.

Rehabilitation Project

The recently completed phase of work at the GAC is one phase of a larger rehabilitation and restoration project that began before Hurricane Ike in 2008. Work had started the previous year to fix major structural issues. After Ike, the center was faced with redoing recently completed work and additional work to repair damaged interior spaces. The building now meets life-safety and accessibility codes, has museum-appropriate environmental systems, improved arrangement of interior galleries, repaired windows and doors, and new finishes. The credit from this work will help fund future work, including repair of the ornate cornice.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • The first floor houses a large art gallery, for rotating exhibitions.