little kid coming down a waterslide at a waterpark

Galveston Blog:
Read All About the Island

Make the most of your stay on Galveston Island with our insiders guide to exploring the area. Our monthly Staff Picks highlight all of the historic places, interactive tours, and family-friendly attractions that make our beachfront city so special. Read more to learn about our favorite places to drink, dine, shop, and explore.

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old time drawing of a seawall between the ocean and hotel galvez
06 Aug

Five Things You Didn't Know About Galveston's Seawall

Did you know...

1. The American Society of Civil Engineers still considers Galveston’s seawall and grade-raising to be one of the most monumental feats of civil engineering ever accomplished in the history of the United States.

2. Galveston did not become predominantly a tourist destination until after the seawall was constructed. It was built only as a protective measure, but it was received with such awe and admiration that slowly the city began to adopt this new reputation, especially after Galveston’s successful commercial port was usurped by the Port of Houston when it opened in 1914.

3. The construction of the original, three-mile-long seawall was finished in just twenty-one months, between 1902 and 1904. The grade-raising, which elevated the grade of the island an average of thirteen feet, began almost immediately following the completion of the seawall and took seven years to complete.

4. Initially, the wall was built in an “L” shape. It began at 8th Street and the harbor, curved over to 6th Street which it then followed across the eastern end of the island to the beach. It then hooked westward and traveled two miles down Galveston’s Gulf shoreline. In 1918 the seawall was extended eastward from 6th Street and the area behind it was filled in. The original eastern leg of the wall is now entombed under UTMB.

5. In total the seawall was extended seven times over the 20th century to its current length of 10.1 miles, making it the longest continuous sidewalk in the world.

The book is available for purchase in the Hotel Galvez gift shop as well as other businesses downtown.

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